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Mechanical springs, by A.M. Wahl ...

Wahl, A. M. (Arthur M.), 1901Cleveland, O., Penton Pub. Co., 1944.

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Mechanical

Springs

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macHiNE Design

SERIES

THE PENTON PUBLISHING CO., CLEVELAND 13, OHIO, U. S. A.

PUBLISHERS OF STEEL . MACHINE DESIGN . THE

FOUNDRY . NEW EQUIPMENT DIGEST REVISTA INDUSTRIAL

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Mechanical

Springs

by

A. M. Wahl

Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company

First Edition

PI BUSHED BY

PENTON PUBLISHING COMPANY

CLEVELAND, OHIO

1944

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Copyright, 1944

THE PENTON PUBLISHING COMPANY

CLEVELAND, OHIO

London: 2 Caxton St., Westminster, S.W. 1

Printed in U.S.A.

FOREWORD

This book presents the fundamental principles underlying

the design of mechanical springs and brings together in con-

venient form for the designer of machines the more important

developments in spring theory and testing which have taken

place within recent years. Although mechanical springs often

represent important components of modern machines and de-

vices, in the past such springs too often have been designed on

the basis of empirical or "rule of thumb" methods which do

not take full account of the limitations of the materials used

or of the mechanical stresses set up during operation. This is

particularly true for applications where fatigue or repeated

loading is involved. As a consequence, unsatisfactory operation

or even mechanical failure has resulted in many cases.

It is the author's hope that the present book may contribute

something toward the avoidance of such conditions by helping

to put the specification of springs on a more rational basis.

To this end, the results of researches carried out under the

direction of the Special Research Committee on Mechanical

Springs of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and,

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more recently, those of the War Engineering Board Spring Com-

mittee of the Society of Automotive Engineers, have been freely

drawn upon. Much of the material in the book has also been based

on research reported in the Transactions of the A.S.M.E., the

Journal of Applied Mechanics, the S.A.E. Journal and the author's

series of articles published in Machine Design during the past

several years.

Because of the importance of the helical compression or

tension spring a relatively large amount of space has been de-

voted to this type. Not only have the theoretical aspects of

stress calculation of this type of spring been treated in con-

siderable detail, but much emphasis also has been laid upon

the fatigue properties of such springs, as well as on the fatigue

problem of spring materials in general. This has been done

since it is the author's experience that the limitations due to the

endurance properties of materials are apt to be overlooked by

designers. Other important aspects of the helical spring design

problem treated in various chapters include creep effects under

static loading, buckling, lateral loading, vibration and surging.

Besides the helical spring, the fundamentals of design of

other important spring types including disk, Belleville, flat, leaf,

torsion, spiral, volute and ring springs have been treated. Be-

cause of its military importance, the volute type of spring has

been discussed in considerable detail.

Although rubber is not ordinarily thought of as a spring

material, the extensive application of rubber springs and mount-

ings in recent years has made the inclusion of a chapter on this

subject appear advisable. Since the subject of vibration is in-

timately tied up with the application of rubber mountings, some

of the fundamentals of vibration absorption and isolation also

have been discussed.

It should be emphasized that in a book of this nature it

is not possible to cover all the factors which enter into the

choice of a spring for a given application. Consequently the

author feels that for best results in any particular design, close

cooperation should be maintained between the designer and the

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spring manufacturer in order to benefit from the latter's exper-

ience and judgment. However, a knowledge of the funda-

mentals should assist in judging the feasibility of a design.

The preparation of this book would not have been possible

without the support of the Westinghouse Electric and Manu-

facturing Co. In this connection the author's thanks are due,

in particular, to L. W. Chubb, Director, Research Laboratories,

and to R. E. Peterson, Manager, Mechanics Department. Thanks

are also due to R. L. Wells of the Laboratories, and to Tore

Franzen, Maurice Olley, B. Sterne and H. O. Fuchs of the S.A.E.

War Engineering Board Spring Committee. The encouragement

given to much of the author's research by S. Timoshenko and

J. M. Lessells is greatly appreciated. To L. E. Jermy, Editor,

Machine Design, and to J. W. Greve, Associate Editor, the writer

is further indebted for valuable suggestions concerning the pres-

entation.

A. M. Wahl

East Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 4, 1944

VI

CONTENTS

Chapter I

General Considerations in Spring Design 1

Functions of SpringsSpring MaterialsTypos of Loading

Infrequent OperationSurface Conditions and Decarburization

Corrosion EffectsVariations in DimensionsFactor of Safety

Chapter II

Helical Round-Wire Compression and Tension Springs 25

Elementary TheoryApproximate TheoryExact Theory, Effect

of Pitch Angle

Chapter III

Open-Coiled Helical Springs with Large Deflection 50

Springs with End Free to Rotate; Stress, Deflection, Unwinding

of Spring EndsSprings with Ends Fixed Against Rotation; De-

flection, Equivalent Stress

Chapter IV

Static and Fatigue Tests on Helical Springs and Spring Materials . . . 69

Strain MeasurementsDeflection TestsVariations in Modulus

of Rigidity; Overstraining, Surface DecarburizationDetermina-

tion of Modulus of Rigidity; Deflection Method, Direct Method,

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Torsional Pendulum MethodModulus of Rigidity Values; Car-

bon Spring Steels, Alloy, Stainless, Monel and Phosphor Bronze,

Temperature EffectsFatigue Tests; Small-size Springs, Shot

Blasting, Large size Springs, Few Stress Cycles

Chapter V

Helical Springs Under Static Loading 95

Stress Calculations Neglecting CurvatureLoad for Complete

YieldingApplication of Formulas to Spring Tables; Curvature

EffectsCreep and Relaxation TestsAnalytical Methods of

Calculation; Steady Creep, Relaxation, Shear Stresses

Chapter VI

Fatigue or Variable Loading of Helical Springs 119

Methods of Calculation; Sensitivity to Stress Concentration, Ap-

plication of Charts, Limitations of MethodsComparison of Theo-

retical and Test ResultsAlternative Method of Calculation

Chapter VII

Practical Selection and Design of Helical Compression Springs 134

Working Stresses as Used in Prar iceSpring TablesDesign

Charts for Spring Calculation

vn

CONTENTS

Chapter VIII

Other Design Considerations for Helical Compression Springs . 157

Effects Due to End TurnsEccentricity of Loading, Allowable

Variations, Manufacturing Tolerances, DeflectionEffect of Mod-

ulus of RigidityStress at Solid Compression; Over-stressing,

Recovery, Allowable Stresses

Chapter IX

Buckling of Helical Compression Springs 169

Buckling; Critical Load, Hinged Ends, Flexural Rigidity, Shearing

Rigidity, Fixed EndsDeflection Under Combined Loading

Test Data

Chapter X

Helical Springs for Maximum Space Efficiency 183

Single Springs; Solid and Free-Height Volume, Infrequent Load-

ing, Variable Loading, Maximum Energy StorageSpring Nests;

Variable Loading, Static Loading

Chapter XI

Tension Springs 193

Helical Tension Springs; Stress and DeHection in End Loops,

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Initial Tension, Shapes of End Coils, Working StressesCom-

bination Tension-Compression Springs

Chapter XII

Square and Rectangular-Wire Compression Springs 203

Springs of Large Index, Small Pitch Angle; Membrane Analogy

Square-Wire Springs of Small Index; Small Pitch Angles,

Large Pitch Angles, Exact TheoryRectangular-Wire Springs;

Small-Pitch Angles, Charts for Calculating Stress, Calculation of

Deflections, Large-Pitch AnglesTests on Square-Wire Springs

Application of Formulas

Chatter XIII

Vibration and Surging of Helical Springs 222

Design Considerations; Resonance, Principal Frequencies, Surge

StressesEquation for Vibrating Spring; Accelerating Forces,

Damping ForcesNatural Frequency; Spring Ends Fixed, One

Spring End Free, One Spring End WeightedSurging of Engine

Valve SpringsDesign Expedients

Chapter XIV

Initially-Coned Disk (Belleville) Springs 238

TheoryPractical DesignSimplified Design for Constant Load

Tests Compared with TheoryWorking StressesFatigue

Loading

vi it

CONTENTS

CHarTER XV

Initially-Flat Disk Springs 263

Radially Tapered SpringsSprings of Constant ThicknessLarge

DeflectionsSimplified Calculation

Chapter XVI

Flat and Leaf Springs 28C

Simple CantileverTrapezoidal Profile SpringsSimple Leaf

SpringCombined LoadingPlate SpringStress Concentration

Effects; Holes, Notches, Sharp Bends, Clamped Ends

Chapter XVII

Helical Torsion Springs 314

LoadingEnd ConditionsBindingBucklingWire Section

TheoryRectangular Bar Torsion SpringsCircular Wire Tor-

sion SpringsWorking Stresses

Chapter XVIII

Spiral Springs 329

Springs with Many Turns Without Contact; Clamped Outer End,

Pinned Outer EndSprings with Few TurnsLarge Deflections,

Coils in Contact

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Chapter XIX

Ring Springs 348

Stress Calculation; Inner Ring, Outer RingDeflectionDesign

Calculation

Chapter XX

Volute Springs 359

Constant Helix Angle; Bottoming Loads, Deflection, StressVari-

able Helix Angles; Load, Deflection, Type Curves

Chapter XXI

Rubber Springs and Mountings 378

Compression SpringsSimple Shear SpringCylindrical Shear

Spring; Constant Height, Constant StressCylindrical Torsion

Spring; Constant Thickness, Constant StressAllowable Stresses

Vibration Isolation; Steady-State, Shock

Chapter XXII

Energy-Storage Capacity of Various Springs 399

Simple Tension-Bar SpringsCantilever Springs; Rectangular

Profile, Triangular Profile, Leaf SpringHelical Torsion Spring;

Rectangular Wire, Circular WireSpiral SpringsRound Bar

Under TorsionHelical Compression SpringsTension Springs

Comparative Storage Capacities

Chapter XXIII

Spring Materials 413

CompositionPhysical PropertiesEndurance LimitsDescrip-

tion of Spring Wires and Materials.

rx

LIST OF SYMBOLS

Symbol Definition Units

a = constant

a = radius, distance inch

b constant

b = width inch

c, C = constants

c = distance inch

c spring index

. c = damping factor lb-sec/in.2

J, D diameter inch

D = plate rigidity lb-in.

e = distance from neutral axis to center of gravity inch

e = eccentricity of loading inch

E = modulus of elasticity lb/sq in.

f = frequency of vibration cycles/sec

F = force lb

g = acceleration of gravity in./(sec)

G = modulus of rigidity lb/sq in.

h = thickness inch

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h = initial cone height inch

/ = moment of inertia of area in.

lii = polar moment of inertia in.4

k, K = constants'

K = spring constant lb/in.

K = stress multiplication factor

Kc = stress concentration factor due to curvature

Kf *= fatigue strength reduction factor

Kf = theoretical stress concentration factor

l = length inch

m = temperature coefficient of modulus degrees"'

m = reciprocal of Poisson's ratio

nt = integer, constant

nil,, mi = bending and twisting moments per inch in.-lb/in.

m m, = bending moments per inch in.-lb/in.

M bending moment, moment in.-lb

n = constant, integer

n number of turns, number of leaves, etc

ti = per cent deflection of rubber slab

n = factor of safety

N = number of solid coils (helical spring)

N = normal force lb

p = load per inch lb/in.

P = load lb

Py = load for complete yielding lb

LIST OF SYMBOLS

Symbol Definition Units

q = sensitivity index

q ratio

q = pressure per unit area lb/sq in.

Q = shear load, lateral load lb

r, R = radius , inch

R = radial load lb

S = tension per unit length lb/in.

t = thickness inch

t = time sec

I = temperature degrees

T = torque, twisting moment in.-lb

V = energy stored in spring per unit volume in.-lb/in.

V = volume hi.

V = energy stored per unit volume in.-lb/in.

\V = weight lb

I, y, z = rectangular co-ordinates

* distance along beam inch

!/ = deflection of beam at any point inch

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z = constant

a = angle, helix angle degrees or radians

a ratio, outer to inner radius .'

Is "- angle, angular deflection degrees or radians

P constant, ratio

7 = constant, ratio

7 = angle, angle of shear degrees or radians

7 = weight per unit volume lb/in.

S deflection inch

"= distance inch

f = small quantity

6 " angular deflection, angle radians

H= angular velocity (d#/dt) radians/sec

* = curvature >n-

* = small quantity -

M = Poisson's ratio

M = coefficient of friction

p = radius inch

"= normal stress lb/sq in.

n, <r, - = static, variable components of normal stress lb/sq in.

m c= maximum stress lb/sq in.

av = yield stress in tension lb/sq in.

V = endurance limit in bending lb/sq in.

= equivalent stress based on strength theory .lb/sq in.

, " "i = principal stresses lb/sq in.

* = shear stress lb/sq in.

to, r = static and v ariable components of shear stress lb/sq in.

te = endurance limit in shear lb/sq in.

<t> = angle of rotation, angular deflection radians or degrees

1> constant

f, t = co-ordinates

> - angular velocity, circular frequency radians/sec

xi

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MECHANICAL SPRINGS

CHAPTER I

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

IN SPRING DESIGN

A mechanical spring may be defined as an elastic body

whose primary function is to deflect or distort under load and

which recovers its original shape when released after being

distorted. Although most material bodies are elastic and will

distort under load, they are not all considered as springs. Thus

a beam of structural steel will deflect slightly when a weight is

placed on it; however, it is not considered as a spring because

its primary purpose is not to deflect under load but rather to

remain rigid.

On the other hand, the helical spring used in the ordinary

spring scales, Fig. 1, is designed so as to deflect by a relatively

large amount when loaded. Consequently, the deflection and

load may easily be determined. This, therefore, functions as a

spring.

Provided the material is not stressed beyond the elastic

limit, the usual type of spring will have a straight-line load-

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deflection diagram as shown in Fig. 2. This means that the de-

flection is proportional to the load, i.e., if the load is doubled;

the deflection will be doubled. The relation will hold true even

if the acting load is a torque or moment, provided linear deflec-

tion is replaced by angular deflection.

Not all springs have linear load-deflection diagrams, how-

ever. In some cases load-deflection diagrams as shown in Fig.

3 may be found. Curve A may be obtained with a thin flat cir-

cular plate loaded to a large deflection. Curve B may result from

.-1

MECHANICAL SPRIXGS

an initially-coned disk (or Belleville) spring. These two spring

types are discussed in Chapters XV and XIV, respectively. Be-

cause of friction and contact between turns, the ordinary clock

spring also does- not have a linear torque-angle characteristic,

as discussed in Chapter XYIII.

FUNCTIONS OF SPRINGS

Among the primary functions of springs the following are

perhaps the most important:

1. To Absorb Energy and Mitigate Shock: In order to absorb

energy without excessive peak loads the spring must deflect by

Courtesy, John Chatillon fie Sons

Fig. 1Heaw-duty scale springs

a considerable amount. An example of the use of a spring to ab-

sorb energy is the draft-gear spring shown in Fig. 4. Another

example is the automotive springs for independent suspension

of front wheels, Fig. 5, which must be able to absorb the energy

of impact when the car goes over a bump. These also function as

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mechanical supports for the vehicle.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

2. To Apply a Definite Force oh Torque: An automotive valve

spring supplies the force which holds the valve follower against

the cam; a watch spring supplies the torque necessary to over-

come the friction in the driving mechanism. Sometimes springs are

Fig. 2 Linear load-deflec-

tion curve of typical spring

DEFLECTION

used to apply a definite gasket pressure as in the high-voltage

condenser-bushing gasket springs shown in Fig. 6. The function

of these springs is to maintain an oil-tight gasket seal regardless

of expansions due to temperature change. Lockwashers commonly

used under nuts and bolt heads also function essentially as springs

Fig. 3 Nonlinear load-

deflection curves

DEFLECTION f

to apply a definite force regardless of slight changes in the bolt

length due to vibration, temperature changes, etc. This force

tends to prevent the bolt from unwinding even though vibration

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is present.

3. To Support Moving Masses on To Isolate Vibration: The

usual purpose of springs used to support moving or vibrating masses

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

is to eliminate or to reduce vibration or impact. Thus electric mo-

tors are frequently spring supported to prevent the transmission

of objectionable vibration to the foundation. Likewise, the springs

used in automobile suspensions not only tend to mitigate shock

due to irregularities in the road surface (Point 1) but also pre-

Courtesy, Edgewater Steel Co.

Fig. 4Sectional view of ring spring in draft gear

vent the transmission to the car body of objectionable vibration

to the presence of regular waves (wash-board) in the road con-

tours. Similarly the springs on a railway car, Fig. 7, tend to prevent

the transmission of impact shocks from truck irregularities. An

interesting application of the use of springs to support a vibrating

mass is the tub support in an automatic washing machine, Fig.

8. By supporting the tub flexibly on springs, transmission of

vibration due to unbalanced masses in the eccentrically-loaded

tub is greatly reduced.

4. To Indicate on Control Load or Torque: One of the most im-

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Fig. 5Helical springs for independent suspension of front wheels

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

portant functions of springs is that of furnishing a flexible member

which will deflect by a considerable amount when subject to a

load or torque. By the use of suitable mechanisms this deflection

is transferred to a pointer which indicates the amount of load or

torque. An example is the scale spring in Fig. 1.

5. To Provide an Elastic Pivot or Guide: Sometimes one or more

flat springs may be used in combination to function as an elastic

pivot. Because of low internal friction such pivots often have real

advantages over bushings or antifriction bearings. Thus the flexible

elements of the gimbal mountings for the Mt. Palomar telescope,

Fig. 6Spring used for maintaining gasket pressure

Fig. 9, which consists of a group of straight bars radially disposed

around the telescope axis can be considered essentially as a spring

application where an elastic pivot is required. An application where

flat springs serve as guides is in the balancing machine, Fig. 10.

SPRING MATERIALS

Because springs must usually deflect by a considerable de-

gree for a given load, it follows that a relatively large amount of

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energy must be stored when the spring is in the deflected position.

Since both the deflection and load for most springs are propor-

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Honal to stress and since energy is proportional to deflection times

load, it follows that in general the amount of energy which may

be stored is proportional to the square of the stress. Hence for

best results relatively high working stresses must be used. This

explains why most spring materials have high tensile strengths

and are worked at much higher stresses than in other fields.

The most widely used material for springs at present is car-

bon steel. In the smaller sizes of wire, for an .8 to .9 per cent

carbon steel by cold drawing and patenting, ultimate tensile

strengths varying from 230,000 to 400,000 pounds per square

inch (depending on the size of the wire) may be obtained. This

type of material is known as music wire. In the larger sections,

by using one per cent carbon steel and heat treating after form-

ing, the ultimate strength may reach 200,000 to 240,000 pounds

per square inch. Similar values may be obtained from chrome-

vanadium and alloy steel. Properties of various spring mate-

Fig. 7Leaf and coil springs on New York Central "Mercury

rials are tabulated in Chapter XXIII. In the larger sizes, helical

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springs are usually heat treated after forming, the latter being

done hot. Smaller sizes of helical springs, on the other hand, are

usually wound cold from pretempered material or music wire.

After winding, a stress relieving low-temperature heat treat-

ment is usually given1.

'Typical specifications for different spring materials, including data on heat treat-

ment, are given in Chapter XXIII.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Where corrosion effects are present, stainless steel springs

of 18 per cent chromium, 8 per cent nickel composition are fre-

quently used. This material (which is also used for high-tem-

perature applications) may have a tensile strength varying from

Fig. 8Spring support for automatic washer

180,000 pounds per square inch for 3 16-inch wire to 280,000

pounds per square inch for 1/32-inch wire. Phosphor bronze also

is used where corrosion is present. This material, however, has

considerably less strength than stainless steel, values of ultimate

tensile strength around 100,000 pounds per square inch are

being obtained.

TYPES OF LOADING

Static LoadingIn many cases, springs are subject to a load

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(or deflection) which is constant or which is repeated but a few

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

times during the life of the spring. Such springs are known as

statically-loaded springs. Examples are safety valve springs

where the valve is expected to pop off but a few times during

its life; springs for producing gasket pressure, typified by the con-

denser bushing springs in F/g. 6; springs in circuit-breaker mech-

anisms where the breaker operates but a few times in its life.

In the design of statically-loaded springs it is frequently im-

portant that the spring maintain its calibration to a sufficient

degree. Thus in the case of a spring compressed by a given

amount this means that as time goes on, the load should not drop

off by more than a small amount (usually a few per cent). This

phenomenon of load loss is known as relaxation. For example,

in a safety-valve spring, if there is some loss in load due to re-

laxation of the material after a period of time, the valve will pop

off at lower pressure than that for which it was designed. Similar-

ly for springs used to produce gasket pressure, relaxation of the

Fig. 9Flexible elements for gimbal of Mt. Palomar telescope

material will result in loss of pressure. While some loss in pres-

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sure usually may be tolerated, too much renders the spring in-

effective for application as a sealing device.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

If the spring is subject to a constant load rather than a con-

stant deflection and if the stress is too high, there will be a slow

deflection with time. This is usually known as settage and is due

Fig. 10Flat springs used in balancing machine

to creep or plastic flow of the material. In many cases this is un-

desirable also. Thus, if the spring is used to support a given load

as in the case of a knee-action car, settage of the spring will allow

a deflection of the wheels relative to the car. Such a deflection

may have a bad effect on the steering mechanism. Another

example is the trolley base springs shown in Fig. 11. If settage of

these springs should occur, objectionable loss in pressure between

trolley wheel and overhead wire would result. Therefore the

springs must be designed so that this set is kept small.

At normal temperatures, if the peak stress in the spring is

kept well below the elastic limit or yield point of the material,

trouble from set or relaxation will seldom occur. Hence in design,

where high temperatures are not involved, the maximum stress

is taken equal to the yield point divided by the factor of safety.

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Frequently this factor of safety is taken equal to 1.5 although

lower values may be used in many cases. Some of the factors

which influence the choice of a factor of safety are discussed

later on, Page 24.

At elevated temperatures the effects of creep or relaxation are

in

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

increased. In such cases the design stress should be based on

actual creep or relaxation tests. Unfortunately, not much data

of this kind are available to designers, although some tests were

reported recently by F. P. Zimmerli-. These tests indicated that

for ordinary carbon-steel springs, the effects of temperatures

below about 350 degrees Fahr. were not very pronounced.

Above 400 degrees Fahr. the use of stainless-steel springs is in-

dicated. This question is further discussed in Chapter V.

In the design of springs subject to static loading it is sug-

gested that for the usual spring material which has some duc-

tility (although of course not as much as structural materials),

stress concentration effects such as those due to curvature may

be neglected. For example, in a simple plate with a small hole

and subject to a tension load, theoretical analysis based on the

theory of elasticity shows that, for elasHc conditions, the peak

stress at the edge of the hole is around three times the stress

some distance away1. For fatigue or repeated loading this peak

stress is important. However, for static loads the usual practice

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in machine design is to neglect such stress concentration effects4,

since these peak stresses are localized and may be relieved by

plastic flow as a consequence of the material ductility. Available

evidence also points to the fact that similar stress concentration

effects such as those due to curvature in helical springs may be

neglected where static loads are involved.

Variable LoadingIn many spring applications the load

does not remain constant, but varies with time. For example, an

automotive valve spring is initially compressed by a given amount

during assembly but, during operation, it is compressed periodic-

ally by an additional amount. It may, therefore, be considered

to operate between a minimum and a maximum load or stress.

In such a case the spring is said to be subject to variable or fatigue

loading. Fig. 12 shows such stress cycles for such a spring sub-

ject to a continuous cyclic stress between the minimum stress

amin and the maximum value a^. This is equivalent to a static or

'"Effect of Temperature on Coiled Steel Springs at Various Loadings", Transac-

tions A.S.M.E., May, 1941. Page 363. Aln "Relaxation Resistance of Nickel Allov

Springs", by Betty, et al. Transactions A.S.M.E., Inly, 1942. Page 465.

^imoshenkoStrength of Materials, Part II. Second Edition. 1941. Van Nostrand,

page 312. gives a further discussion of stress concentration; also Theory of Elasticity.

McGraw Hill, 1934, page 75.

For a further discussion article bv C. R. Soderherg on "Working Stresses",

Transactions A.S.M.E.. 1933, APM 55-16 is recommended. Also Timoshcnko Strength

of Materials, page 482.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

11

constant stress tr1. equal to half the sum of maximum and minimum

stresses on which is superimposed a variable stress <t,. The vari-

able stress is equal to half the difference between a,x and ami*,

the proper algebraic sign being considered. The discussion con-

cerning bending stress it in this chapter also applies, in general,

to torsion stresses.

More often, however, the loading condition is much more

complicated than that indicated in Fig. 12. For example, an

Fig. 11Trolley-base springs

automobile knee-action spring. Fig. 5, is subject to practically

a constant load when the car is traveling over smooth pavement.

In passing over rough dirt roads, however, the spring may be

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subject to an irregular loading condition with stress cycles of

12

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

varying amplitude as indicated in Fig. 13. The same thing is also

true of freight car and locomotive springs. In such cases the de-

termination of allowable stresses is more difficult, particularly

since fatigue test data giving results for cases where the variable

component of stress changes with time are almost wholly lacking5.

In many applications, springs are subject to loads or stresses

which vary more or less continuously between a minimum and

a maximum value. The difference between the maximum and

the minimum stress is known as the stress range; this is also twice

the variable component of stress ar. This stress range is of

particular importance when fatigue or repeated loading is in-

volved since for many materials the endurance range is prac-

tically constant provided the yield point is not exceeded.

If the limiting variable stress av which the spring will just

stand is plotted against the mean stress a on which o> is super-

imposed, an endurance diagram such as that shown in Fig. 14

will be obtained. Thus any point P on this curve means that, if

the mean stress is o-, a variable stress larger than a, if super-

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imposed on the stress a will eventually cause fatigue failure;

conversely, one smaller than a, will not cause fatigue failure

of the spring.

It is interesting to note that when the static component of

the stress a is zero, a condition of completely reversed stress

is obtained. The variable stress ac for zero a should therefore

5B. F. Langer"Fatigue Failure from Stress Cycles of Varying Amplitude", Jour-

nal of Applied Mechanics, December, 1937, gives a further discussion of this problem.

Also "Damage and Ovcrstress in the Fatigue of Ferrous Metals", by Russell and

Welcker, Proceedings A.S.T.M., 1936, Part 2, page 118.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

13

correspond to the usual endurance limit a> for completely re-

versed stress in either torsion or bending (depending on whether

torsion or bending stresses are considered). On the other hand,

when the variable stress is low, tests show that the curve tends

to approach the ultimate strength a. Of course, for high values

of mean stress considerable creep may be expected to occur so

I-

STATIC

STRESS

TIME

Fig. 13Stress cycles of variable amplitude

that the problem becomes one of avoiding excessive settage or

loss in load.

Another way of plotting endurance or fatigue test results

for variable stress conditions is shown in Fig. 15. Here two

curves a and b representing o-u and a,( respectively are plotted

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equidistant from the dot and dash line c which represents the

Fig. 14 Typical experi-

mental line of fatigue fail-

ure for combined static and

variable stress

STATIC STRESS CT0

mean stress a. The a and b curves represent upper and lower

limits of actual stress just required to cause fatigue failure for

stress ranges between points on the same vertical line. It is clear

that at any point P the ordinate of the mean stress line c repre-

sents the static or mean component of stress a while the vertical

14

MECHAXICAL SPRINGS

distance between the mean stress line and either the upper or

lower curve gives the variable stress component o>. The upper

curve a represents o- + at while the lower curve b represents

o- ay. The maximum and minimum values of stress o-max

and ami corresponding to any combination of static and vari-

able stresses a and a, may be read directly from the curves

a and b as indicated.

A simple method'1 of determining working stress is to re-

place the actual endurance curve by a straight line connecting

the yield point a and the endurance limit a, as shown in

Fig. 16. This line may, however, be considerably below the

actual endurance curve so that working stresses determined in

this manner may be somewhat too conservative. However, the

method is of advantage in many cases on account of its sim-

Using this method, a combination of static and variable

stresses represented by any point P on the line AB connecting

the points at distances ov/n and a/n is defined as having a

factor of safety of n. If a is the static component of the

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working stress and a, the variable component, from the ge-

ometry of Fig. 16 it may be shown that the factor of safety may

Fig. 15Alternate method of rep-

resentation of fatigue test results

for static and variable stress

plicity.

This method was suggested by Soderberg"Factor of Safety and Working

Stresses", Transactions A. S. M. E., 1930. APM 52-2.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

15

be expressed by the following relation:

This relation holds for torsion as well as for bending, pro-

vided the values av and a, are taken as the yield point and

endurance limits in torsion respectively. Torsion stresses, how-

ever, will be represented by the Creek letter t.

More accurate results for most spring steels will usually be

obtained by using an elliptical relationship between the values

of static and variable stresses necessary to cause fatigue failure.

For torsion stresses the endurance curve will be represented by

the quadrant of the ellipse, ACB in Fig. 17 and intersecting

the coordinate axes at Tv and t, . If it be assumed that no

stress should exceed the yield strength, the dotted portion of

this ellipse should be replaced by the line CB extending at an

angle of 45 degrees to the abscissae. This is done since, when

the variable and static components of stress represented by

points on CB are added, the maximum stress will just equal

the yield stress. On the basis of this elliptical law, the factor

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of safety n becomes

Fig. 16Simplification of

experimental curie of fa-

tigue failure with method

of defining safety factor

STATIC STRESS

16

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where the symbols have the same meaning as those used in

Equation 1.

The results of some fatigue tests are plotted in Fig. 17 to

enable a comparison to be made between the elliptical and the

straight line relationships in the case of torsional fatigue stress-

ing. The triangles represent the results obtained by Weibel7

in tempered Swedish steel wire tested both in pulsating (0 to

maximum) and in reversed torsion, the surface of the wires

being in the "as received" condition. While these results show

rather high values, they are among the few available for such

a comparison. The circles in Fig. 17 represent test results by

Hankinss on specimens of silico-manganese spring steel with ma-

chined surfaces. It may be seen that in these cases the elliptical

law agrees closely with the test results. It should be noted,

55

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STATIC TORSION STRESS LB./SQ.IN.

a TORSION FATIGUE TESTS BY WEIBEL ON TEMPERED

SWEDISH STEEL WIRE.(SURFACE-AS RECEIVED)

TORSION FATIGUE TESTS BY HANKINS ON SI-MN

SPRING STEEL. (SURFACE MACHINED)

Fig. 17Elliptical curve representing fatigue failure and com-

parison with torsion endurance test results

however, that the straight line law, Fig. 16, is safer to use in

practice, particularly where complete test data are lacking.

In calculating the static or mean stress a, the consensus of

'"The correlation of Spring Wire Bending and Torsion Tests"E. E. Weibel,

Transactions A.S.M.E., November, 1935, page 501.

*"Torsional Fatigue Tests on Spring Steels"G. A. Hankins, Dept. of Scientific &

Industrial Research, (British) Special Report No. 9.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

17

opinion at present is that stress-concentration effects may be

neglected for ductile materials9. This is consistent with neg-

lecting stress-concentration effects where static loads only are

involved. Since stress peaks due to curvature in helical-com-

60,

Fig. 18Notch effect in fatigue

stressing with initial tension, .7 per

cent carbon steel (Stahl und Eisen,

Volume 52, Page 660)

40 60

StEADY StRESS

pression and torsion springs are localized, it is believed that for

design purposes they may be considered as due to stress con-

centration effects and hence may be neglected in computing o-.

ft should be noted that the effect of direct shear in helical-

compression springs should be considered, because this is not

a localized stress. In figuring the variable component a>, how-

ever, stress concentration may not be neglected.

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Some evidence in support of this method lies in certain

fatigue tests on notched bars under combined static and variable

stress. The results of one such test1 on .7 per cent carbon steel

bars are given in Fig. 18, the full lines being results for speci-

mens without stress concentration and the dashed lines for

notched specimens. It may be seen that the mean or static

Ductile materials are defined by Soderberg as those having elongations over 5

per cent, which includes most spring materials.

l<lFederstaehleHoudremont and Bennek, Stahl und Eisen, Vol. 52, page 660.

Also, discussion by R. E. Peterson of Report of Research Committee on Fatigue of

Metals, Proceedings A.S.T.M., 1937, Vol. 37, Part 1, Page 162.

18

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

stress represented by the dot and dash line is not diminished

by the stress-concentration effect, while the variable stress rep-

resented by the vertical distance between either the full lines

or the dashed lines is diminished in a more or less constant

ratio by the stress concentration effect of the notch. While it

must be admitted that available fatigue test data made for the

purpose of evaluating stress-concentration effects under com-

bined static and variable stress are rather meagre, it is believed

that, until further test data are at hand, stress increases due to

curvature in practical springs may be treated in this manner.

An application of this method to the determination of working

stresses in helical springs is given in Chapter VI.

Another method of treating the problem of combined static

and variable stress is to calculate the stress range by taking

stress-concentration effects (due to curvature, for example) into

account. In the usual cases where stress concentration is pres-

ent, the peak stress at the location of stress concentration will

not exceed the yield point since the material will merely yield

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at this point. Hence, the maximum point of the stress range

omat will be the yield point stress of the material. To determine

the factor of safety, the endurance range of the material is com-

pared with the range calculated in this manner". A further

condition to be satisfied is that the stress at maximum load,

calculated by neglecting stress concentration, must not exceed

the yield point of the material, since otherwise excessive yield-

ing may occur. Application of this method in the design of

helical springs is also illustrated in Chapter VI.

INFREQUENT OPERATION

Where springs are subject to relatively few cycles of load-

ing, the permissible working stress may be considerably in-

creased over that allowable for an infinite number. Examples

of such springs are those used in certain control mechanisms.

A typical stress-cycle graph for helical compression springs of

carbon steel stressed from zero to a maximum is shown in

nTo take into account the fact that the material may not be fully sensitive to

stress concentration (i.e., that the actual stress range as found by test may be greater

than the calculated figure usinu theoretical stress concentration factors), a reduction

in the stress range may be made, provided test data are available. Further discussion

of sensitivity is given in "Two- and Three-Dimensional Cases of Stress Concentration

and Comparison with Fatigue Tests" Peterson and Wahl, Journal of Applied Mechanics,

March, 1936.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

19

Fig. 19. It appears that for this type of stress application, the

stress required to cause failure in ten thousand cycles of stress

application may be about twice as great as that required to

cause failure in ten million cycles. Provided some permanent

set would not be objectionable, this suggests that a considerably

higher working stress could be used if the spring is to be subject

eoooor

I04 105 K)6 O7

NUMBER OF CYCLES TO BMLURE

Fig. 19Typical stress-cycle curve for helical springs

to relatively few stress cycles. It must not be inferred however,

that a large increase in the working stress is usually possible

when the loadings are relatively few. In most cases the increased

permanent set would probably interfere with the operation of

mechanisms of which the springs form an integral part.

SURFACE CONDITIONS AND DECARBURIZATION

It has been found that the surface condition in spring steels

has a marked effect on the fatigue strength of the material. The

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reason for this is that in the manufacture of springs, because of

heating during the heat-treating and forming operations, the

surface layer is decarburized to some extent. Thus there is, in

effect, a thin layer of low-carbon steel (which is relatively

weak) over the body of the spring which is composed of the

relatively strong high-carbon or alloy steel. Under fatigue or

repeated loading conditions the weaker low-carbon steel on the

surface may develop a crack which then spreads across the

20

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

section as a consequence of the high stress concentration at the

base of the crack. Actual tests have shown that a very thin layer

of this decarburized material is sufficient to greatly weaken the

spring during fatigue.

A great deal of work on the effect of surface conditions on

the fatigue strength of springs has been carried out by the

National Physical Laboratory in England. The results of this

work on actual plates as used in leaf springs show conclusively

that this decarburized layer on the surface combined with the

stress concentration effect of surface irregularities produced by

manufacturing operations may reduce the actual endurance

range to one-half or even less of that to be expected on the

basis of tests on machined or ground specimens. For example,

fatigue tests on 2 by %-inch bars of heat treated .61 per cent

carbon commercial spring steel (as used in leaf springs) made

by Batson and Bradley12 showed an endurance range with the

surface machined and ground of 0 to 128,000 pounds per square

inch. When the surface was left untouched, the endurance range

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dropped to 0-42000 pounds per square inch, a reduction of about

two-thirds. The stress-cycle curves of Fig. 20 are plotted from

data published by these experimenters and show the tremendous

effect due to surface conditions in this particular case. Although

this probably represents an unusually great reduction in strength,

the stress data do show how important are the surface conditions.

Similar results were obtained by Hankins and FordKt who

found for one silico-manganese steel a 60,000 pounds per square

inch endurance limit in reversed bending on specimens which

had been heat treated after grinding to size. In this case there

was a decarburized surface layer left there by the heat-treating

process. When the tests were made on specimens of the same

steel and given the same heat treatment but having a thin layer

of surface material ground off after heat treatment, the endur-

ance limit increased to 103,000 pounds per square inch. Fur-

ther tests were made on specimens which had been heat treated

in a neutral atmosphere in such a way as to prevent the forma-

tion of a decarburized layer; in this case the endurance limit was

""Fatigue Strength of Carbon and Alloy Steel Plates as Used for Laminated

Springs", Proceeding* Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1931, Page 301.

""Mechanical and Metallurgical Properties of Spring Steels as Revealed by Lab-

oratory Tests"Hankins and Ford- Journal Iron and Steel Institute, 1929, No. 1,

Page 317.

GENERAL DES1GN CONSIDERATIONS 21

107,000 pounds per square inch or practically the same as for

the specimens ground after heat-treatment. This indicates that

the decarburized layer left by the usual heat treatment was to

a large extent responsible for the lower endurance limits found

on specimens which had not been machined after heat treatment.

These tests are extremely interesting in that they afford an in-

dication of what may be done by means of special heat treat-

ments for increasing the fatigue strength of actual springs.

This reduction in endurance strength because of surface

effects has also been observed in reversed torsion fatigue tests

by Lea and Heywood'4 on chrome-vanadium spring steel wires.

These investigators found that, where the wires had been ma-

in

in

160000

- ft

80000

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I20O00

St.

RBVCE MA

CHINE

,__SURFAC

E UNI

cue

HED

40000

L.

0s io5 o'

NUMBER OF CYCLES OF STRESS

(STRESS APPLICATIONS FROM ZERO TO MAXIMUM )

Fig. 20Stress-cycle curs es for .61 per cent carbon com-

mercial spring steel plate. (From tests by Batson and

Bradley, Proceedings I.M.E., 1931, Page 301)

chined and polished, the torsional endurance limits were in-

creased to almost twice the value obtained from specimens in

the unmachined condition. Swan, Sutton, and Douglas1'1 also

report for chrome-vanadium steel under pulsating torsional

""The Failure of Some Steel Wires Under Repeated Torsional Stresses"Lea

and Heywood, Proceedings Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1927, Page 403.

'''Investigation of Steels for Aircraft Engine Valve Springs", Proceedings Institute

of Mechanical Engineers, 1931, Vol. 120, Page 261.

22

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

stress (from V* maximum to the maximum), an increase of

around 50 per cent in endurance range where the specimens

were machined and polished. The results of these various tests

show the importance of the surface conditions of spring steels

when under torsion fatigue stressing. On the other hand, it

should be mentioned that torsion fatigue tests on Swedish valve

spring wires by Weibel7 showed practically no difference in the

torsional endurance limit between specimens with the surface

untouched and those having the surface layer ground off. Prob-

ably this may be explained by the fact that this material has a

very good surface condition so that the effect of decarburization

was small.

Recently a process of shot-blasting helical springs has been

developed which increases the endurance range by 50 per cent

or more for the smaller springs16. This process consists of pro-

pelling small steel shot at high velocity against the spring sur-

face, using an air blast or a centrifugal type of machine. Appar-

ently the peening action of steel shot propelled against the sur-

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face of the spring tends to cold work and thus increase the

strength of the weak or decarburized surface layer. This method

seems to offer an economical way of obtaining satisfactory

fatigue life in springs without the expense of grinding the sur-

face after heat treatment. However, shot blasting or shot peen-

ing, as it is also called, can not be expected to give satisfactory

results where excessive decarburization or surface defects are

present. A further discussion of this is given in Chapter IV.

CORROSION EFFECTS

In cases where springs are subject to even mildly corrosive

action while under fatigue stressing, the endurance limit for

most ordinary materials is reduced greatly. In such cases, fa-

tigue tests must be carried out for many more than the usual

ten million cycles17. A large number of corrosion fatigue tests

on spring materials, carried out by McAdam18, show the tre-

,F. P. Zimmcrli"How Shot Blasting Increases Fatigue Life", Machine Design,

Nov. 1940, Page 62. Also Lessells and Murray"The Effect of Shot Blasting and Its

Bearing on Fatigue", Proceedings A.S.T.M. Vol. 41, 1941, Page 659.

""Corrosion-Fatigue of Metals"H. J. Cough, Engineer, Vol. 154, 1932, Page 284.

ls"Fatigue and Corrosion Fatigue of Spring Materials".D. J. McAdam, Jr.,

Transactions A.S.M.E., 1929, APM 51-5.

GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

23

mendous reduction in the endurance limit for spring materials

subject to either fresh or salt-water corrosion fatigue. For spring

steels subject to fresh-water corrosion fatigue, the value of en-

durance limit obtained was but one-fourth to one-ninth that ob-

tained by tests on specimens in air. Higher values of endurance

limit under corrosion conditions were obtained on corrosion-

resistant steels, while cadmium-plated springs showed much

higher endurance limits under such conditions, i.e., about twice

the value was obtained for a spring steel with a plating than

without. These examples show that the spring designer must

either protect the springs from corrosive action, or else use ex

tremely low working stresses. Even then, if corrosion is present,

there is no assurance that eventual fatigue failure will not occur,

if a sufficiently large number of stress repetitions of stress take

place.

VARIATIONS IN DIMENSIONS

Another factor which the spring designer should keep in

mind is that there is always an unavoidable variation in the size

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of wire or plate used in making springs. The effect of these

variations may often be large, especially when it comes to ob-

taining proper load-deflection characteristics. For example, in

the case of helical springs, a cumulative variation in both coil

and wire diameter of only 1 per cent will result in a 7 per cent

change in the load-deflection characteristic of the spring. Thus

for a .1-inch wire, a 1 per cent variation would correspond to

a change in diameter of only .001-inch. Such variations are easily

possible in commercial practice. Hence, it may be necessary

to allow the spring manufacturer some leeway in choosing the

other spring dimensions to compensate for unavoidable varia-

tions in sizes of commercial wire stock. For example, if the wire

for making helical springs happens to be slightly undersize, the

spring manufacturer may be able to compensate for this by

slightly reducing the coil diameter. In most cases, this slight re-

duction in coil diameter would not be detrimental to the opera-

tion of the spring. In commercial springs, actual stresses and

load-deflection characteristics may easily deviate by 5 to 10 per

cent from the calculated values and this must be considered in

design. If special precautions are to be taken by the spring

24

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

maker, such variations may be reduced, but at increased ex-

pense. A further discussion of this is given in Chapter VIII.

FACTOR OF SAFETY

In choosing the factor of safety, n (as defined in Equation 1)

the designer must be guided by many considerations. If the

consequences of failure are serious, then a higher factor must

be used; while if a broken spring causes but little inconvenience,

it may be possible for the designer to lower the factor of safety.

Where springs are made of uniform and high-grade material

and where close control of the manufacturing process is main-

tained, lower factors of safety may be used. If, in addition,

accurate test data on the particular spring materials employed

are available for cases where the test conditions approximate

the service conditions, the design factor of safety may again be

reduced. On the other hand, ignorance of the peak loads acting

or of the effect of unknown factors such as corrosion or tempera-

ture effects may dictate an increase in this factor.

It is the primary purpose of this book to acquaint the de-

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signer with the fundamentals underlying spring design in order

to enable him to make an intelligent selection of springs for

a given purpose. Nevertheless, it is advisable, in cases where

important spring applications are concerned to have the design

confirmed by consultation with the spring manufacturer, in order

to benefit from the latter's experience.

CHAPTER II

HELICAL ROUND-WIRE COMPRESSION

AND TENSION SPRINGS

Springs of most importance in machine design are helical

round-wire compression or tension types. They are made in

a wide variety of sizes and used in tremendous quantities.

Among the reasons for wide acceptance and general use are

the following:

1. Low Cost: Helical springs are relatively cheap to manu-

facture, particularly if large enough quantities are required

to justify the use of automatic spring-winding machinery.

2. Compact: Springs are relatively compact, a considerable

amount of material being squeezed into a small space.

3. Efficient: The material is stressed fairly efficiently unless

the spring index (ratio of coil diameter to wire diameter)

is too low. This is further discussed in Chapter XXII.

The field of application of the helical spring is as broad

as that of machine design itself. Several of the more important

practical applications of helical springs have already been men-

tioned, Chapter I. In the automotive field these include in-

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dependent suspension of front wheels, Fig. 5, suspension of rear

wheels, and valve springs. Railroads are large users of helical

springs particularly for freight and passenger car suspensions.

In the manufacture of electrical equipment, springs are used

in tremendous quantities in switchgear and control equipment,

circuit breaker mechanisms, etc. Innumerable other applica-

tions might also be mentioned. A typical application of a heli-

cal spring in a circuit breaker mechanism is shown in Fig. 21.

Because of the practical importance of this type of spring,

a relatively large amount of space is devoted to it in this book.

The present chapter discusses the theory for stress and deflec-

tion calculation in helical springs, the application of this theory

in practical work being covered in subsequent chapters. The

25

26

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

theory as given in this chapter will be limited to springs where

the deflections per coil are not too large (not more than half

the coil radius). The effects of large pitch angles, however,

are considered.1 This includes most practical springs.

The general theory for calculating helical tension springs

is essentially the same as that used for compression springs

However, because of the effects of the end loops which are

usually used in tension springs, additional concentrations of

stress may be expected. For this reason a lower working stress

is usually advisable unless a special type of end fastening is

used. In the present chapter, effects due to end turns both

in compression and tension springs are excluded from the

theoretical discussion; these effects are considered later in

Chapters VIII and XI.

ELEMENTARY THEORY- LARGE INDEX AND SMALL

HELIX ANGLE

For calculating helical springs, the elementary theory as

commonly given in textbooks on strength of materials or ma-

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chine design is based on the assumption that the spring may

be considered essentially as a straight bar under torsion. This

assumption is approximately true where the spring index is

large and where the helix angle is small. Since the elementary

theory does not take into account the difference in fiber length

between the inside and outside of the coil which arises because

of the curvature of the spring bar or wire, considerable error

will be involved if this theory is used for springs with small

or moderate indexes.

Stress CalculationsBriefly the elementary theory is as

follows: If a spring of large index under an axial load P as

shown in Fig. 22 is compressed between two parallel plates as

indicated in Fig. 23, the resultant load in general will be slight-

ly eccentric to the axis as shown. This eccentricity is neglected,

however, in the present discussion. Referring to Fig. 22, each

individual element of the spring coil may be considered to

be subject to a torque moment Pr where r = mean coil radius.

In Fig. 24 one of these elements of length tlx is cut from the

'Effects of large initial pitch angles combined with large deflections are considered

in Chapter III.

HELICAL SPRINGS 27

coil by two planes perpendicular to the bar axis. Assuming that

these planes do not warp or distort during deformation, it fol-

lows that the shearing deformations and hence the shearing

stress will have a linear distribution along a radius as shown.

This is identical with the stress distribution in a straight bar

under torsion. Therefore at a distance p from the center O

Fig. 21Application of helical spring in a circuit breaker

the shearing stress will be t 2ptm/d (from similar triangles)

where t, = maximum shearing stress at the surface of the bar

and d = bar diameter. The moment taken up by the shaded

ring of width dp at a radius p will be dM = 2nrp-dp{2ptm/d)

and the total torque moment Pr will be

Pr=J dM = J -- *-- C3,

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or solving for the maximum stress T,

2S

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

.(4)

lePr

ird3

This is the ordinary formula for calculating stress in helical

springs commonly given in textbooks or handbooks. As stated

before, it will be in considerable error for springs with small

indexes for two reasons: (1) The effect of direct shear stress

due to the axial load P is neglected; and (2) The increase in

stress due to the difference in fiber length between the inside

Fig. 22Helical spring o! large index,

axially loaded

of the coil and the outside produced by wire curvature is not

considered. These effects will be more fully discussed later.

Deflection Calculations To calculate deflection of the

spring, the following procedure may be employed. Consider-

ing an element ab on the surface of the bar and parallel to

the axis (Fig. 24), this element, after deformation, will rotate

through a small angle t to the position ac. From elastic theory

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this angle y will be equal to t, divided by the shearing modulus

of elasticity G. Thus from Equation 4.

t...

16Pr

.(5;

Since the distance bc = 7 dx, for small angles such as are

being considered, the elementary angle dct through which one

cross section rotates with respect to the other will be equal to

HELICAL SPRINGS

2')

2"idx/d. Again assuming that the spring may be considered as

a straight bar of length l=2irnr where n number of active coils,

the total angle /3 representing the angular deflection of one end of

the bar with respect to the other will be, using Equation 5,

J^Jrnr y pit

32Pr dx- 64Pr n

(6)

Since the effective moment arm of the load P is equal to r,

the deflection at the load will be

64PH/i

&=pr=

Gd'

.(7)

This is the commonly used formula for spring deflections. In

contrast with the ordinary stress formula, which may be in con-

Fig. 23Resultant ec-

centricity of loading be-

tween parallel plates.

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(Stress is greater at h

than at a)

IP \

^////////yy//////'

,^y^v////////.

ii

H|

siderable error, this deflection formula is quite accurate even

for fairly small spring indexes and for large helix angles. Tests

30

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

carried out to check the accuracy of this equation are discussed

in Chapter IV.

APPROXIMATE THEORYSMALL OR MODERATE INDEX CON-

A typical fatigue fracture of a heavy helical spring which

failed under fatigue loading is shown in Fig. 25. It will be noted

that the failure starts from a fatigue crack near the inside of the

coil and progresses at an angle of about 45 degrees to the axis

of the bar2. Since such failures are typical of heavy helical

springs which usually have rather small indexes, it may be ex-

pected that the maximum stress occurs at the inside of the coil

near point a', Fig. 26a. The reasons for the existence of the maxi-

mum stress at this point are: First, the fiber length along the

inside of the coil is much less which means that a higher shear-

ing stress is present for a given angular rotation of adjacent

cross sections. Thus in Fig. 26b, if the radial sections bb' and

aa' rotate through a small angle with respect to each other and

about the bar axis, the inside (and shorter) fiber a'b' will be

subject to a much higher shearing stress because of its short

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length than the outside fiber ah which is longer. Second, the

stress on the inside fiber a'b' is increased because the shear

stress due to the direct axial load P is added to that due to the

torque moment Pr at this point. In the outside fiber ab this stress

is subtracted from that due to the torque moment. The result

is that the stresses on the inside of the coil reach values around

2Vi times those on the outside for springs of index 3, as may be

shown both by test (Chapter IV) and theory; for larger indexes

SIDERING CURVATURE EFFECTS

Fig. 24Cross-sectional ele-

ment of spring under torsion

(elementary theory)

This type of fracture with the fractured surface making an angle of 45 degrees

with the axis is typical of fatigue fracture of a straight cylindrical bar under alter-

nating torsion.

HELICAL SPRINGS

31

this difference is, of course, not so pronounced.

Stress CalculationThe exact solution of the problem of

determining stress in springs of small index is complicated

(see Page 38), but an approximate solution which is sufficiently

accurate for practical use (within about 2 per cent for practical

springs) may be derived as follows3:

A small helix angle is assumed since this assumption is valid

for nearly all practical springs. Considering an element of an

axially-loaded spring with mean radius of curv ature r cut by two

neighboring radial cross sections aa' and bb' as shown in Fig.

Fig. 25Typical fatigue failure

27a, the forces acting on this element are resolved into a twisting

moment M = Pr acting in a radial plane and a direct axial shear-

ing force P. The stresses set up by this twisting moment are

3This method ol derivation differs in several respects from an approximate solu-

tion given by A. Roevcr, "Beanspruchung Zylindrische Schraubenfedem mit Kreis-

nuerschnitt." V.D.I. 1913. Page 1907, but the final numerical results are only slightly

different. See also author's paper "Stresses in Heavv Closely Coiled Helical Springs",

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Transactions A.S.M.E., 1929 paper A.P.M., 51-17.

32

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

first considered -and later are superimposed on the stresses due

to the direct shear load P.

Under the action of the moment M = Pr the two cross-

sections aa' and bb' will rotate with respect to each other through

a small angle dfi. As mentioned before, this will result in much

higher stresses on the inside fiber

a'b' particularly for springs of

small index. The shear stress ^ act-

ing over the cross section Fig. 27f

may be considered as divided into

an axial component t, parallel to

the axis of the spring and a trans-

verse component rt perpendicular

to the spring axis.

If it is assumed that the two

neighboring cross sections aa' and

bb' rotate relative to each other and

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about an axis ee' perpendicular to

their surfaces and passing through

their centers O, the distribution of

the axial components of the stress

along a transverse diameter per-

pendicular to the spring axis will

be somewhat as shown by the

shaded area of Fig. 28. Such a dis-

tribution of stress due only to a

moment would not be possible since

(he area to the right of the center

O is greater than that to the left and

hence an external force could be

needed to secure equilibrium. If, however, rotation occurs about

some point O', Fig. 29, which is displaced toward the axis of the

spring, instead of about point O, a distribution of stress is obtained

which is possible under the action of a pure moment M. From

conditions of symmetry the transverse stress components tj will

be in statical equilibrium when rotation occurs about any point

on the axis aa' Fig. 27b. Point O' may be found as follows:

Under the assumption of rotation about O', the stress r act-

ing on any element dA with coordinates .v and y may be found.

When the sections aa' and bb' have rotated through a small angle

Fig. 26Heavy helical spring

axially loaded

HELICAL SPRINGS

33

dp with respect to each other, the relative movement of the ends

of the filament dd' corresponding to dA will be d/8(x2 + {/2)''4

(b)

Fig. 27Element of coil of helical spring

and, since the length of dd' is (r - y-x)dtl, the shearing stress 7

acting on this element will be

r= (8)

The axial component t of this stress will be, Fig. 27,

Tx xGdp

(r-y x)d8

, 19)

Under the assumptions made, this distribution of stress is

identical with that in a curved bar4 and the distribution of the

,For example, Timoshcnko, S(rmcf/i nf Materials, Van Nostrand, Part 2, Second

*ror example, limoshenko, Mrenfif/i nf Materials, va

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Edition, Page 65, gives a discussion of curved bar theory

34

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

stresses t is hyperbolic in form, Fig. 29. This distance y is de-

termined from the condition that the integral of rdA (where

dA is the element of area) must be zero when taken over the

cross-section. From curved bar theory the distance * may be

expressed approximately asr':

*J 1 y

16r d1 1

V + TeW

16r

.(10)

The term d2/16r2 is neglected in the denominator since in

practical springs d/2r seldom greater than 1/3 and hence t/2/16r-

is small compared to unity. Putting Equation 10 in 9,

xGdu

d-

(11)

x)de

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Further, it is assumed that the ordinary formula for angle of

twist of circular bars (Equation 6) will apply with sufficient

Fig. 28Shearing stress distribution along a

transverse diameter, rotation about the center

accuracy for the calculation of dfi/dd (borne out by actual tests,

as discussed in Chapter IV). Thus

de

32Mr

-*dtG~

(12)

where M Pr. Putting this in Equation 11,

Timoshenko, loc. cit., Page 7-1.

HELICAL SPRINGS

35

wd'fr

32xMr

~ 16r

(13)

From this equation it is clear that the maximum value of t

will occur when x=d/2d2/16r, i.e., at point a' in Fig. 27b.

a.

in

u. i

<

Fig. 29Stress distribution along a transverse diameter,

assuming rotation about the point O'

Putting this value in Equation 13 and also putting the spring

index c=2r/d, the stress at a' in Fig. 29 becomes

_ 16M / 4c-1 \

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(14)

Likewise, the stress at point a (Fig. 29) on the outside of

the coil, putting x=d/2d2/16r in Equation 13 and dropping

the negative sign, will be

16M / 4c+l

/ 4c+l \

7Td2 V 4c+4 /

(15)

In an actual spring where a load P acts along the axis, as

36

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

mentioned previously, the external forces acting over the cross

section may be resolved into a twisting moment M = Pr and a

direct axial shear force P, assuming that the pitch angle is small.

Stresses due to the twisting moment may be found by substitut-

ing Pr for M in Equations 14 and 15. On these stresses the

shearing stress at a and a! (Fig. 27b) due to the direct axial load

P must be superimposed. It appears reasonable to take for this

stress that given by the theory of elasticity at the outer edges

of the neutral surface of a cantilever of circular cross section

loaded by a force P. This theory6 gives a value of stress equal

to 4.92P/7rd2. Adding this stress to that due to the moment Pr

from Equation 14 the maximum stress t,uj. at a' may be expressed

This is an approximate expression for the maximum stress

in a helical round-wire spring, axially loaded. Comparing the

results obtained by using this formula with those of a more

elaborate investigation by Goehner (see Page 42), it may be

shown that for practical springs where the index c is equal to 3

or more, this formula is within 2 per cent of the more exact

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formula. Such differences are negligible from a practical stand-

point. This equation also agrees well with experimental results

including strain measurements on actual springs (Chapter IV).

The stress at the outside of the coil at a, (Fig. 28b), may

be found by using Equation 15 and subtracting the stress due

to direct shear because it acts in the opposite direction, giving

Comparison with experimental results indicates that this equa-

tion is also approximately correct.

From Equation 16, the maximum shearing stress in a helical

spring may be written

(16)

(17)

16Pr

(18)

"Timoshenko Theory of Elasticity, McGraw-Hill, Page 290.

HELICAL SPRINGS

37

where the stress correction factor K is

4c-1

4c-4

.615

.(19)

It is thus seen that the maximum stress is simply the stress

given by the ordinary formula of Equation 4 multiplied by a

factor K which is greater than unity and which depends on the

spring index c. For convenience in calculation values of K are

plotted as functions of the spring index c in Fig. 30. It is seen

that for a spring of index 3 the factor K=1.58, which means that

IjOL

- 2r

8 10 12

= SPRING INDEX

14

16

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Fig. 30Stress correction factor for helical round

wire compression or tension springs

the stress given by the ordinary formula must be multiplied by

this amount for the maximum stress.

It should be mentioned here that the stresses derived hold

only as long as elastic conditions prevail, i.e., as long as the yield

point or elastic limit of the material is not exceeded. If this is not

the case, the maximum stress may be less than that calculated.

However, even for such cases where yielding occurs, the formula

38

MECHANICAL SPR1NGS

will still give the range in stress which is of most importance

from a fatigue standpoint. Further discussion of the use of

Equation 18 for fatigue loading is given in Chapter VI.

EXACT THEORY

The approximate theory developed in the preceding sec-

tion for calculating stress in helical springs of small or moderate

index is, as mentioned previously, sufficiently accurate for most

practical purposes (results being accurate to within 2 per cent

for spring indexes greater than three). Where greater accuracy

is desired, the exact method of calculation developed by

Coehner7 may be used. This method will be briefly outlined8.

Stress CalculationReferring to Fig. 31, if t9- and rro are

the components of shearing stress acting on the element A of a

radial cross section of the spring as shown, the coordinates of A

being p and z and if the pitch angle is small so that the elements

of the springs may be considered under pure torsion, all shear

stress components except t: and rro may be assumed zero.

With this assumption from the theory of elasticity, the condi-

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tions of equilibrium in cylindrical coordinates give the follow-

ing partial differential equation

drrti dr$, 2t>b

+ ., + 0 (20)

dp dz p

The theory of elasticity also requires that the following

equations (derived from what are known as the "compatibility

equations") must be satisfied:

at , + JK_-z>.0 (21)

(22)

:0. Goehner, "Schubspannungsverteilung im Querschnitt einer Schraubenfeder",

Ing.-Arch. Vol. 1, 1930, Page 619; "Schubspamiinigsverteilung im Querschnitt eines

gedrillten Ringstabs mit Anwendung auf Schraubenfedern", Ing.-Arch. Vol. 2, 1931,

Page 1; "Spannungsverteilung in einem an den Endquerschnitten belasteten Ringstab-

sektor", Ing.-Arch. Vol. 2, 1931, Page 381; and "Die Berechnung Zylindrische Schraub-

enfedern," V.D.I., March 12, 1932, Page 269.

^Theory of ElasticityS. Timoshenko, McGraw-Hill, Page 355, gives a more

complete discussion of the method.

HELICAL SPRINGS 39

To solve Equations 20, 21 and 22 a stress function </> is in-

troduced. Taking

Gr? / d<t> \ Gr- I d<h \

Equation 20 is satisfied. By substitution of Equation 23 in 21

and 22, the following equations are obtained

(V" + --) = 0 (24)

dp \ dp' dz- p dp /

d / d'A d'<p 3 d<t> \

( + -)= 0 (25,

dz \ dp- dz- p dp /

This means that the expression in parenthesis must be a

constant which may be denoted by 2c'. Thus,

d"-<t> d-d> 3 dd>

, + +2c' = 0 (26)

dp- dz- p dp

It will be found advantageous to introduce new coordinates

as follows:

Then Equation 26 becomes

d-A d'tb 3 dd>

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+ + + 2c' = 0 (27)

a? d(- Jt \ ai

Since in general i/r may be considered small,

1 f-

1 + - f -+ - "" (28)

! 1 r r-

This makes it possible to solve Equation 27 by means of a

series of successive approximations. From the condition that

the resultant shearing stress at the boundary of the cross section

40

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

must be tangent to the boundary, the function <f> may be shown

to be constant along the boundary. With this condition the ex-

pression for (f> becomes:

*-*rr*i+*H (29)

where

dx, satisfies 1 + 2c=0

d? df2

d-<t>l , S"<t>l , 3 d<t>o

*i satisfies = 0

d? dp r d*

d2<h d2<fa 3 d<f>i 3$ d$o

<A2 satisfies 1 1 1 = 0; etc.

dp d{2 r d$ r2 d{

From Equations 23, using P~r-}-i,

trJ = ;t2= (dOJ

0 - f) st 0 - 7) at

The total twisting moment acting over the spring cross sec-

tion will be

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Af,= - //(trff+r,, Drftfr (3D

Again the function 1/(1t/r)- in Equations 30 may be ex-

panded in series form as follows:

1 2 3P

rr1 + - + -r + <32)

(,.!), '"

The determination of t,o and i,; by means of successive

approximations has been carried out in this general manner by

Goehner7 with the following results for round-wire, helical

springs.

Maximum shearing stress for a circular ring sector with zero

pitch angle is

HELICAL SPRINGS

41

16Pr

/ c 1 .J_\

\ c-1 + ^(T + ~16?)

(33)

where c2r/d.

This formula is accurate to within one per cent even for

Fig. 31Torsion stress components in cross-

section of helical spring (exact theory)

indexes c as low as It does not apply accurately, however,

where the pitch angle is appreciable.

For practical springs where the pitch angle a is not zero,

the more exact formula for maximum shear stress becomes

\6Prcos a

TCP

1(d\1(dV

2p'

1+

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2p,

~3~

16

+.

tan'a

-{-hi

(34i

where p' = r/cos-a= actual radius of curvature of the helix tak-

ing the pitch angle into account. The first term of this equation

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

corresponds to Equation 33 where the actual radius of curvature

is used instead of r. The second term of this equation arises be-

cause of the angularity of the shear load P cos a. The term in

the denominator of the second part of the right side of Equa-

tion 34 is used to replace the series which arises in the calcula-

tion. Although Equation 34 is considered very accurate, it is

cumbersome for practical calculations; for such cases the follow-

ing formulas may be used with an accuracy within one per cent:

1. For indexes 2r/d greater than 3 and for pitch angles a

less than 16 degrees, the maximum shearing stress is

16Prco.*f 1 -(JL) / j_y v

tiP I d_ 4 V 2p' ) 8 V 2P' / J

where f>'r cos2*

2. For indexes greater than 4 and a<20 degrees.

.(36)

3. Where a<12 degrees (which includes most practical

cases) the following formula for t,., expressed in terms

of spring index is most convenient and is to be preferred:

16Pr cos a / 5 7 1 \

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7*- 0 + 17 + ScT + -cd (37i

It should be noted that if cos a=l. Equation 37 differs by

less than 2 per cent from Equation 16 derived by approximate

methods, for spring indexes of three or more.

Equations 33 to 37 give the shearing stress due to the twist-

ing moment Pr cos <x and the direct shear P cos a. However, there

is also a bending stress amux present due to the bending moment

Pr sin <x and a direct tension or compression stress due to the

direct load P sin a. To get the maximum equivalent stress in the

spring this bending stress o-,.r must be combined with the tor-

sion stress tmax on the basis of a strength theory (Page 44).

To calculate this maximum bending stress (T,x the results

HELICAL SPRINGS

43

of curved-bar theory1 may be used. A somewhat more ac-

curate method is to apply the general equations of the theory

of elasticity as was done by Goehner". This involves essentially

the setting up of the equilibrium equations and the compatibility

Fig. 32Curves for finding <p in

the spring deflection formula for

various spring indexes c and

pitch angles a

1.04,

I 03

g .9B|

Or

--

10*

'

as*

5*

III

II

II

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Sprmg index c-- g.MEAN DIAMETER

^ c d WFE DIAMETER

equations in cylindrical coordinates and their solution by a

method of successive approximations, similar to that previously

used for the calculation of torsion stress t,,,j. Final results are:

The maximum bending stress:

32Pr sin a\ 6m!+9m + 4 / d

Trf3 \ 1H 8m(m+lf \"2p

25m3+41m2+28m+8

4Hm2(m

r-28m+8 \

+ 1) )

-() +

1) \2p'/

V 2p' / 1

}...(3S)

where m=Poisson's constant=reciprocal of Poisson's ratio.

For Poisson's ratio=.3 this formula simplifies to

32Pr sin a

wd3

.64

0 + -87+

V 2P' / Id

(}--&)

(39)

2p'J J

where p'r/cos2cx. The last term in the brackets d/8r yields the

'Ing. Archie, 1931, Pace 381. Also Theory of ElasticityTimoshenko, Page 361.

44 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

stress due to the direct tension or compression which is

4 P sin a/ircP; the remainder yields the stress due to the bending

moment Pr sin a. Again the denominator 1d/2p' represents

approximately the series which arises from the method of suc-

cessive approximations.

Equations 38 and 39 need only be used for relatively large

pitch angles and small indexes. For the usual case the following

formulas may be used with sufficient accuracy:

32Pr sin af 8 m-+11 m + 4

"^d3 I 1-l 8m(m+l)c

I' - ,

25m3+41m"-+28m+8

48m2(m + l)c5 J

or taking /n 10, 3 corresponding to Poisson's ratio = .3

32Prsina/. 1.12 .64-

(40)

f mox ~

/ 1.12 .64\ , , (

To find the equivalent stress in the spring, the shearing

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stress t,ai and the bending stress o-,uj. which act at a given

point should, as mentioned before, be combined according to a

theory of strength. One strength theory which is widely used at

present is the maximum-shear theory, which states that failure

is determined by the maximum shearing stress at any point in a

stressed body10. It may be shown from elastic theory that if a

bending stress am<1i and a shearing stress tm<u act at a given point,

the equivalent shear stress t, based on the maximum shear

theory is1

i=W(tm0ir +" "fmuf 1 +

4(rm0x)2

.(42)

Another strength theory which is coming more and more into

favor is the shear-energy theory1: (also known as the von Mises-

Hencky theory). This theory states that failure will occur when

the shear energy (or energy of distortion) of the highest stressed

lFor example TimoshenkoStrength uf Materials, Purt 2, Second Edition, Page

473 pr'vrs a (urther discussion ol strength thrones.

"Timoshenko, loc. cit., Part 1, Page 122.

12Timoshenko, loc. cit. Part 2, Page 479 gives a further discussion of this theory.

Also "Plasticity"A. Xudai, Eng. Soc. Monographs, McGraw-Hill, 1931.

HELICAL SPRINGS

45

element is equal to the shear energy of an element in an axially

stressed specimen at the yield point (or at the endurance limit

if the theory is applied to fatigue failure). If o- a2, and o-3 are

the principal stresses at failure, a mathematical statement of the

foregoing is:

(<rio2)!+(ai<r})'+(<rl<r3)- = 2oc" = Constant (43)

In this case a, may refer either to the yield point or the endur-

ance limit.

The expression on the left side of this equation can be

shown to be proportional to the shear-energy or energy of dis-

tortion stored in the material. This energy is equal to the total

energy stored minus the energy of three-dimensional tension or

compression.

It may be shown that when a bending stress crlnr and a

torsion stress tmax act simultaneously as in this case, the equiva-

lent torsion stress according to the shear-energy theory is

r.-rm.,Jl + (44)

This equation is derived by determining the principal

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stresses from Mohr's circle for a case of combined tension and

shear". In this case these principal stresses are

*--^+^j^-+(r,)' (45)

, = ^-y(--+{t^Y (46)

t,=0 (47)

Equation 47 follows since no normal stress acts on the surface

of the spring. Substituting Equations 45 and 46 in Equation 42

and taking the equivalent shear stress iy = av/1.73 (which is

the shear stress equivalent to a simple tension stress a-,), Equa-

tion 44 is obtained.

Unless the pitch angle is unusually large ama x will be small

"The derivation of those formulas for principal stress for combined tension and

shear is Riven in Strength of Materials, loc. cit., Part 1, Page 48.

46

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

compared to tmx so that in general for most practical springs

tc will differ but slightly from t,x.

It should be noted that the formulas given in this chapter

apply rigidly only as long as the deflections per turn are small

(relative to the coil diameter) so that the coil radius and pitch

angle may be considered constant. These conditions usually

apply with sufficient accuracy in practical springs where the

index is not large, since for small or moderate indexes excessive

stresses are set up when the deflections per turn approach the

mean coil radius.

Example: As an example of the application of the more

exact formulas given in this chapter, assuming a spring with an

index of 3 and a pitch angle a = 12 degrees, so that Equation

37 may be used. Then cos < x = .978 and tan a = .2126. Using

Equation 37

r.. = 1.551 COS a

Similarly from Equation 41

32Pr

'r23

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(Tmi = 1.444 sin a

Hence

1.444

= 2 tan a-

1.551

Assuming that the maximum-shear theory applies, by sub-

stitution in Equation 42,

16Pr

If the shear-energy theory be taken as a basis, by substitu-

tion in Equation 44;

This differs but slightly from the value obtained by using the

HELICAL SPRINGS

47

maximum-shear theory. It also differs by only about 1^ per cent

from the value derived previously by approximate methods and

neglecting the pitch angle (Equation 16). This indicates that

the approximate method is accurate enough for most purposes.

Deflection CalculationAssuming that the spring deflec-

tion per turn is not large11 relative to the coil radius and that the

pitch angle may be considered very small, the spring deflec-

tion isir'

64Pr"7t

G* I _3

16

(^))

(48)

where c is the spring index. It is seen that this is simply the or-

dinary deflection formula, Equation 7 multiplied bv a term in

brackets which depends on the spring index. The larger the

spring index, the nearer will this term approach unity. How-

ever, even for the exceptionally small index of 3, the term in the

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brackets of Equation 48 is equal to .977 which indicates that

the deflection will be about 2.3 per cent smaller than that cal-

culated from the usual formula. However, for best accuracy

the pitch angle should be considered.

If the pitch angle of the spring is considered, the procedure

is as follows: From elastic theory1" it may be shown that the

twist per unit length of a helical spring is

sin a cos a sin a., cos a

where a and a are the final and initial pitch angles, respectively.

This assumes that the deflection is small so that the coil radius

r may be considered constant. Multiplying this by the torsional

rigidity C yields the twisting moment M,=Pr cos oc. Likewise

the bending moment Pr sin ot will be equal to the flexural rigidity

EI multiplied by the exact expression for the change in curva-

ture, which is

COS2 a COS2 a

A = (49)

"The case of large deflections (which may occur without excessive stress only for

large indexes) is treated in Chapter III.

"Goehner, V.D.I. 1932, Page 272.

inFor example LoveTheory of Elasticity, third. edition, Cambridge Univ. Press,

Page 421.

48 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The total length of the spring wire or bar will be

COS a

Using these expressions and the results of elastic theory, a more

exact expression for the deflection of helical springs has been

derived17. This more accurate formula, which assumes small

deflections, may be written

3- Q (51)

where

COS a ZLr .

4> = ;h =rsin a tan a (52 J

3 cos* a E

1+

16 c2-l

8o nominal deflection figured by usual formula, Equation 7,

i/<=a constant depending on the spring index c = 2r/d and on

the pitch angle sc. In Fig. 32 values of the constant <p have been

plotted as functions of the spring index c for various pitch angles

x. In making the calculations, a ratio G/E-.38 was taken (cor-

responding approximately to Poisson's ratio=.3), which holds

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with sufficient accuracy for most spring materials. However,

a relatively large change in this ratio G/E will have but a

negligible effect on the value of i^. The dashed curve for zero

pitch angle cannot be realized in practical springs because of

interference between the coils; also a part of the curve for 5

degrees pitch angle is shown dashed since it cannot be realized.

It may be seen that for practical springs where the pitch angle

is usually less than 10 degrees and for the smaller indexes the

value of ip is less than unity, which means that the actual deflec-

tion is slightly smaller than the nominal deflection, Equation 7.

This seems surprising at first since one would expect that the

direct shear would act to increase the deflection over that given

by Equation 7. Tests to be described later (Chapter IV), how-

ever, tend to bear out this conclusion. It should be noted that

in actual springs the effect is usually very small; thus for indexes

c>2.5 and pitch angles a<15 degrees, the deviations between

1TGoehnor, loc. cit.

HELICAL SPRINGS

49

the more exact formula and the ordinary formula Equation 7

will be under 2% per cent. For most springs where a<10 de-

grees and c>4 the difference is under one per cent, a figure which

is usually negligible in practice since other factors such as the

effects of variations in coil and wire size, shape of end turns,

and modulus of rigidity will ordinarily be greater than this. In

certain cases, however, as for example in certain instrument

springs, to obtain maximum accuracy, it may be desirable to

use the factor ip of Equation 52 in making deflection calculations.

Example: Assuming a steel spring of the following dimen-

sions: Outside diameter % in., mean coil radius r=.286 in., wire

diameter d=.lll in., 4 active turns, spring index (2r/d)=3.28,

initial pitch angle 7% degrees, working load 140 lb, the deflec-

tion figured from the nominal formula for these dimensions is

8 = .0745. For a pitch angle of 7% degrees and index c = 3.2

from Fig. 32 i/< = .985. The deflection calculated by the more

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accurate formula is then S = ./,S = .985 (.0745) =-0733 in.

CHAPTER III

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

AND SPRINGS WITH LARGE DEFLECTIONS-

THEORY

Unless extreme accuracy is required the theory developed

in Chapter II for close-coiled helical springs is satisfactory for

the practical calculation of spring deflections and stresses where

die initial pitch angle is under 10 degrees and the deflection per

turn less than, say, half the coil radius. However, for cases

where the initial pitch angle is large or where the deflection per

turn is large, some error in the use of the usual formula, Equa-

tion 7, for calculating spring deflections will result. This erroi

approaches 15 per cent for initial pitch angles around 20 de-

grees and deflections per turn equal to the initial coil radius. The

reason for this error in the usual formula is partly that the

pitch angle was assumed zero in the previous derivation and

partly because the coil radius changes with deflection. Thus

when a compression spring is compressed from the initial posi-

tion shown in Fig. 33a to that shown in Fig. 33b, the mean coil

radius increases from r to r. Since the spring deflection, other

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things being equal, is proportional to the cube of the coil radius,

it follows that the spring becomes more flexible as it is com-

pressed. The opposite effect, of course, occurs in tension springs.

Errors due to neglecting the effect of pitch angle may be

eliminated by using the more accurate formula, Equation 51,

which takes the pitch angle into account. If the spring deflec-

tions per turn are large, however, this formula will also be some-

what in error at the larger deflections since the change in coil

radius with deflection was neglected in the derivation.

The discussion in this chapter will be limited to springs

of large index since the effects due to changes in the pitch

angle and coil radius are most pronounced in such springs.

For springs of small or moderate index high stresses are set up

before the deflection becomes large enough so that changes in

pitch angle or coil radius are of importance. Hence Equation 51

may be used in such cases.

.50

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

51

When an open-coiled helical spring is subject to an axial

tension giving a large deflection, there is a tendency for the

coils to unwind; in other words, one end of the spring tends to

rotate with respect to the other about the spring axis. If this

rotation can take place freely and without restraint, we have

the condition of an axially-loaded spring as indicated in Fig. 34.

This is approximately the condition in tension springs with

hooked ends where the hooks are not rigidly held but have some

freedom to rotate about the spring axis. If, however, the ends

are prevented from rotation by friction (as is usually the case

in compression springs) or by clamping, end moments acting

about the axis of the coil are set up which tend to prevent this

rotation. For this reason, it is necessary to distinguish two cases:

1. Open-coiled helical spring axially loaded and with ends free to

rotate about the spring axis and

2. The sanie except that ends are fixed so that rotation about the

spring axis is prevented.

SPRINGS WITH ENDS FREE TO ROTATE

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Calculation of StressAn open-coiled helical spring of large

pitch angle as shown in Fig. 34 is subject to a tension load P,

the ends being assumed free to rotate about the coil axis. If

a is the helix or pitch angle and r the actual coil radius, the

forces and moments acting on the element A of length ds will

be, Fig. 34b, a bending moment Pr sin a, a twisting moment

Pr cos a, a shear force P cos a and a tension force P sin a. The

shear stress t due to the twisting moment Pr cos a will be equal

to this moment divided by the torsional section modulus for a

spring of large index c. Thus

16Pr cos ,

r z (53)

Likewise the bending stress a due to the bending moment

Pr sin a will be, for large index c

32Pr sin a , (

'i#"(54)

Since the spring index is assumed large, stresses due to the

52

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

direct shear load P cos a and the tension P sin a will be neglected

for the present. Thus on an element of the surface of the coil

the two stresses a and t are acting as indicated in Fig. 34c. As

mentioned previously in Chapter II these stresses may be com-

bined according to the maximum-shear theory and, therefore

Equation 42 may be used. Hence the equivalent shear stress

tc is

r.=- (55)

Using the values of a and t given by Equations S3 and 54

in this, and simplifying, the expression for equivalent shear

stress becomes

16Pr . 16Pr

t,= Vsin-a+cos"a = (56)

xa1 to1

This follows since the term under the radical is unity.

If the maximum-shear theory applies, this equation shows

that the maximum equivalent shear stress is equal to that given

by the ordinary formula 16 Pr/W 'regardless of the pitch angle

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Table I /

Comparison of Maximum-Shear and Shear-Energy Theories

Pitch Angle Ratio tc'/tc

0 1.000

5 1.001

10 l.OOfi

IS 1.012

20 1.020

30 1.040

(effects due to curvature and direct shear being neglected), pro-

viding the coil radius r is taken as that actually existing when the

spring is loaded. As shown in Fig. 33, this will be different from

the initial coil radius r at zero load.

Applying the shear-energy theory of strength (as discussed

in Chapter II), values of a and t given by Equations S3 and 54

should be used in Equation 43. If this is done an equivalent

shear stress is obtained equal to

l6Pr 'Jcos'a + sin-a (57)

Trrf3" 3

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

53

A comparison between Equations 56 and 57 shows that,

when applied to a helical spring, the difference between the

results given by the two theories (maximum-shear and shear-

energy) is under 2 per cent for pitch angles under 20 degrees

and under 4 per cent for angles below 30 degrees, ( Table I).

In view of the small difference between the two theories,

Id) UNLOADED

(b) LOADED

Fig. 33Open-coiled spring with large deflection

the simpler formula, Equation 56 will be used in the following:

In calculating springs, it is simpler for the designer to use

the coil radius r at zero load as a basis for calculation since it

is a quantity easily measured. It is shown, Page 57, that for an

axially-loaded spring the actual coil radius is given by r = K2r

where K2 is a function of the ratio 8,,/nr between nominal de-

flection per turn and initial coil radius, and of the initial pitch

angle <xB (pitch angle at zero load). The nominal deflection S

as figured from the ordinary deflection formula using the initial

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coil radius, Equation 7, is

51

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

64PrM

'= GdT(58)

Thus K2 may be expressed as a function 8/nr and of a and

the equivalent stress becomes, from Equation 56,

16Pr 16PrK,

"= -^- = -^- (59)

This stress is thus expressed simply as the ordinary formula

for stress 16 Pr/ird3 multiplied by a factor K2 which may be

Fig. 34Open-coiled

helical spring with

axial load

obtained from the curves of Fig. 35 if <x and $/ nr are known.

Values of 8/nr may be calculated from Equation 58 for a given

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load P. It should be noted that negative values of 8/nr cor-

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS 55

respond to compressions, positive values to extensions. The

factor K2 is greater than unity for open-coiled compression springs

since the coil radius increases as the spring is compressed; the

opposite effect occurs in tension springs.

From the curves of Fig. 35 it may be seen that, if the initial

pitch angle is below 15 degrees and the calculated deflection

per turn 8/n is not more than the initial coil radius r, the

errors in the stress formula due to pitch angle changes are under

6 per cent. This error may reach 15 per cent if the angle a

reaches 20 degrees and the deflection per turn exceeds the

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initial coil diameter. In most actual applications where x, <

56

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

15 degrees and 8, nr< .5, the error is under 3 per cent and,

therefore, may be neglected for most practical purposes.

During this discussion, in order to determine the effect of

pitch angle change, the increase in stress due to bar curvature

and direct shear have been neglected. As an approximation to

obtain the maximum stress, the stresses figured in this way

should also be multiplied by the curvature correction factor K

as given in Equation 19. Even for spring indexes between 10

and 20, this factor will vary from 1.07 to 1.14 and is thus of im-

portance. A more accurate, but more complicated, method is

to use expression for t,ni and amax given by Equations 34 and 38,

Chapter II.

Calculation of DeflectionsAssuming a helical spring axial-

ly loaded with the ends free to rotate as the spring deflects, Fig.

34, it is shown by the theory of elasticity1 that the change in bar

or wire curvature as the spring deflects from an initial pitch

angle z, to a different pitch angle a is

COS'a COS2a

r r

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An- (60)

where r and r are the coil radii corresponding to the initial and

final values of pitch angle. This equation is similar to Equation 49

except that the change in coil radius is considered. From Fig.

34 the bending moment causing this change in curvature is

m^Pr sin a. This must be equal to the flexural rigidity EI

multiplied by the change in curvature Ak. Thus

Pr sin a=/(Ax)

where E modulus of elasticity, / = moment of inertia of cross-

section or using Equation 60:

EI

;"--) (6D

From elastic theory1 it may also be shown that the twist Af?

in the wire per unit length, as the spring deflects from a pitch

angle a to a pitch angle a is

'LoveTJwory of Elasticity, Cambridge University Press, Third Edition, Page 421.

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

57

A6 =

Sin a COS a SM a. COS aco

(62)

This when multiplied by the torsional rigidity GI (for

round wire) will yield the twisting moment mt. This latter is,

from Fig. 34, mi = Pr cos a. Thus

Prcos a = GIp(A6)

or using Equation 62

GIP /sin a cos a sin u cos a\

r cos av

.(63)

where Gmodulus of rigidity and Ip=polar moment of inertia

of wire cross section.

Using Equations 61 and 63,

, /COs'a COS-a\

^EL M 1 .)

r- r \ sin a I

.(64)

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EI

sin a cos a tan a+-

1 G/.

-COS'a

COS'al

EI

"g7

(65)

+tan'a

Assuming that the active length I of the spring remains con-

DEFLECTED

POSITION

Fig. 36Developed spring lengtli with

large pitch angle

-Zwn r

stant (which is reasonable for springs of large index) the spring

length may be developed on the helix cylinder as indicated in

Fig. 36. From the geometry of this figure as the angle changes

58 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

from a to a the total spring deflection S becomes

S = l(sin asin a)

Since I cos (x=2nrnr, where n is the total number of active coils,

this equation may be written:

j = (sin asin <*) (66)

cos <*

Using Equations 64 and 66 the total deflection 8 of the spring

may be expressed as the nominal deflection 8 (calculated from

Equation 58) multiplied by a factor Thus

130

S. - NOMINAL DEFLECTION PER tURN

nr. INItIAL COIL RADIUS

Fig. 37Curves for finding deflection correction factor V',,

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spring ends free to rotate

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

59

64Pr3n ,.

-lM.=*i7,^ (67)

The factor >pJ depends on the initial pitch angle x. , the ratio E/G

between bending and shear moduli, and on the ratio 8/nr be-

tween nominal deflection per turn and initial coil radius. Values

2.8

Fig. 38Load extension diagrams for open-coiled helical tension

spring, spring ends free to rotate

of ^, have been calculated for a ratio E/G 2.6 (which applies

approximately for most spring steels) and the results plotted in

Fig. 37 for various values of a and Sc/nr. Although a value of

/G=2.6 corresponding to Poisson's ratio=.3 has been assumed,

it is believed that a considerable change may be had in this ratio

with only an insignificant change in the final results.

A study of the curves of Fig. 37 shows that for pitch angles

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below 10 degrees and deflections per turn less than half the coil

60

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

radius, 8/nr < .5, the error in the usual spring deflection formula

is not over about 3te per cent, i.e., does not differ from unity

by more than about 3% per cent. For pitch angles around 20 de-

grees and deflections per turn equal to the coil radius, however,

the error may reach 15 per cent.

To use Fig. 37 for practical calculations of open-coiled helical

springs it is merely necessary to determine the deflection 8 for

the given load P using the ordinary spring formula, Equation 58,

or by means of spring tables or charts. From this value of 8 the

24

20

a.

'12

<n

Ui

UJ

id

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a.

. TO"l

AL T

WIST

fOE

GREt

<*.=

NITI

AL P

TCH

ANG

-E

<

iy

'i

0.

S. .

10

15

ZD

2.5

3.0

NOMINAL EXTENSION PER TURN

INITIAL COIL RADIUS

Fig. 39Curves for calculating twist of spring ends.

Tension springs with ends free to rotate

ratio 8o/nr may be found. Then knowing this and the initial pitch

angle x, the factor </<, may be read from Fig. 37. The maximum

deflection under the load P will then be equal to ^18.

To show how the load-deflection diagrams deviate from a

straight line for various initial pitch angles a and for various

amounts of deflection, the curves of Fig. 38 have been plotted,

using Equation 67, for tension springs where the ends are fastened

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

61

so that restraint against rotation about the spring axis is small.

The ordinates of this curve represent values of P X 64r,r/Gd* and

are directly proportional to the load, while the abscissas represent

actual extensions per turn divided by initial coil radius. These

curves are concave upward, which means an increase in spring

rate (in pounds per inch deflection) with load. This would be

expected for tension springs since the coil radius r decreases with

load. The straight dot-dash line represents the deflection as fig-

ured by the ordinary formula. In this case it may be seen that

for larger deflections and pitch angles there is a considerable de-

viation from the straight line representing the ordinary formula.

Unwinding of Spring EndsWhen a tension spring is ex-

tended, as is well known, the coils tend to unwind, at least at

larger deflections. The amount of this unwinding may be cal-

culated as follows: From Fig. 36, the angle in radians subtended

by the projection of the total spring length in the unloaded posi-

tion on a plane perpendicular to the axis will be

(68)

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In the loaded position this angle will change to

/ COS a

Change in angle <f> or the relative rotation of one end with

respect to the other will be the difference in these values.

.(COS a COS a,\

V r r I

or since from Fig. 36, \2wnr/cos (x,

2xnr /cos a cos ao\

<k= 1 I (701

where <f> is expressed in radians.

Using Equations 66 and 67 this angle may be expressed in

terms of z and $/nr as before. Expressing $ in degrees;

(71)

62

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where ^2 is the twist per turn in degrees and may be read from

Fig. 39 if a and 8/nr are known. It will be noted from this fig-

ure that i/-2 becomes slightly negative for small values of 8/nr,

and for initial pitch angles greater than zero. This means that

for small deflections the spring has a slight tendency to wind up.

This is due to the fact that the distortions of the elements of the

coil under axial load are in such a direction as to cause this wind-

ing-up effect. As the spring deflection increases, this tendency is

overbalanced by the change in pitch angle which causes an un-

winding of the coil.

SPRINGS WITH ENDS FIXED AGAINST ROTATION

Calculation of DeflectionWhere the spring ends are fixed,

i.e., prevented from rotating about the axis of the spring during

deflection (this condition is realized in many compression springs

Fig. 40Open-coiled helical spring

with end moments. Moments are

represented by vectors

in

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where the friction between the ends and the supporting plate

prevents relative rotation), a similar analysis may be made to that

for the case where rotation occurs without restraint. In this case,

$=0, it is necessary to take into account the moment acting at

the spring ends which prevents the coils from unwinding.

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

63

From Figs 34 and 40 if a moment M and a load P are acting

on the spring simultaneously as indicated, the bending and twist-

ing moments mi, and mt acting on the wire will be

mi, = Mo cos aPr sin a (72)

m, = Mo sin a+Pr cos a (73)

The components M cos a and M sin i of the axial moment

M are indicated by vectors in Fig. 40b.

The change in curvature of the wire Ak due to the moment

mi, is equal to the moment divided by the flexural rigidity EI.

Using Equation 60,

mi, cos-a COS'a

A* =y (74)

EI r r

Likewise the twist A0 becomes, from Equation 62,

nti sin a cos a sin cos a .

A9=-Fr7- = (75)

GIP r ro

Substituting Equations 72, and 73 in Equations 74 and 75

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two equations may be obtained, from which the following

formulas for P and M may be found:

GIP cos a ( sin a coS a sin a, COS a'

(Sin a COS a sin a COS a \

r ro /

EI sin a / cos2a cos"a \

r V r r /

GIP sin a f sin a cos a sin ao cos a. \

Mo= 1 I +

V r r /

/ co&a co fa. \

EI COS a

In addition, since the ends of the spring are prevented from

rotation, <f>L and <f>2 as given by Equations 68 and 69 are equal

which means that

64

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

120

Vl.10

^.00

.95

.60

= 20<

5!

COM

'RES

SIOK

TENSION

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-3-2-1 0 12 3

S. . NOMINAL DEFLECTION PER TURN

nr. - INITIAL COIL RADIUS

Fig. 41Curve for finding deflection correction factor

Spring ends are fixed against rotation

COS a COS n

or

r=r-

COS a

COS ao

(78)

Using Equation 78 in Equations 76 and 77 and simplifying,

sin asin a

r. . EI; T(?9)

COS^ao Sin aSin aH7T7~'an a(cos a~cos a)

L GIp J

where ^/is a factor corresponding to </<! for the case where no

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

65

moment acts at the ends, Equation 67. By using Equations 66

and 67, the factor ip,' may be expressed in terms of initial pitch

angle a and S<,/nr as before, and the results are given on the

curves of Fig. 41. Comparison of Figs. 37 and 41 indicates that

the difference between the two cases, i.e., ends fixed or free, is not

great at the smaller values of 8/niv At larger values there are

some deviations.

Load deflection diagrams as determined for compression

springs with fixed ends by using Equation 79 are given in Fig. 42.

It is seen that at the larger pitch angles and deflections there is

2.8

24

20

ORDINARY

FORMULA

/'

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.4 .8 1.2 1.6 2-0

S - ACtUAL COMPRESS DN PER TURN

nr. ~ INItIAL COIL RADUS

24

Fig. 42Load-compression diagrams for open-coiled

compression spring. Ends fixed against rotation

considerable deviation from the straight line calculated from the

usual formula. It should be noted that the question of buckling

of compression springs is not considered here1'. Where the buck-

ling load is exceeded, the curves of Figs. 41 and 42 may still be

used if guides are provided to prevent lateral movement.

^Chapter IX discusses methods of determining buckling loads in compression springs.

66 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Similar load-deflection curves for tension springs with ends

restrained from rotation about the spring axis are given in Fig. 43.

This condition will apply approximately for tension springs having

hooks which fit into a hole in a plate, so that, when the spring is

extended, the hook cannot rotate appreciably. It also holds where

2.8

2.4

2.0

18

i '2

"0 .4 8 12 16 2.0 2.4

_L- - ACTUAL EXTENSION PER TURN

nr. INITIAL COIL RADIUS

Fig. 43Load-extension diagrams for open-coiled

helical tension springs. Ends fixed against rotation

the spring is fitted with spring ends which are in turn fastened in

a mechanism to prevent any rotation.

Calculation of Equivalent StressFor axially-loaded helical

springs with fixed ends, the stress is modified by the presence of

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the fixing moment M at the ends of the spring. From Equations

72 and 73 the bending and twisting moments acting on the wire

cross section may be calculated. Assuming, as before, that the

maximum-shear theory of strength is valid, the equivalent shear

stress from Equation 55, for a circular wire cross section becomes

OPEN-COILED HELICAL SPRINGS

87

Substituting values of m& and m, given by Equations 72 and 73 in

this and simplifying,

16 .

Using the values of M and Pr given by Equations 76 and

77, this equation may be reduced to

7' rf-^

.(80)

where K./ is a factor by which the usual formula t=16 Pr/wd'

must be multiplied to obtain the actual stress. Values of K.,' are

NOMINAL DEFLECtION PER tURN

INItIAL COIL RADIUS

Fig. 44Stress correction factor K/, ends fixed

plotted as functions of <x and of S/nr in Fig. 44. It should be

noted that as mentioned previously additional stresses due to

curvature will be present, and these may be taken into account

by using the formulas of Chapter II.

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In general the analysis of this chapter indicates that where

68

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

large deflections are present, the error in the usual deflection

formula, Equation 7, should be considered. This error may ap-

proach 15 per cent for initial pitch angles near 20 degrees and de-

flections per turn equal to the coil radius. For usual applications

where the initial pitch angle is under 10 degrees and the deflec-

tion per turn less than half the coil radius, the results indicate

an error in the usual formula of less than 3% per cent. Hence,

unless maximum accuracy is desired, these effects due to pitch

angle change and change in coil diameter may usually be

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neglected.

CHAPTER IV

STATIC AND FATIGUE TESTS

ON HELICAL SPRINGS AND SPRING MATERIALS

In order to check on the validity of the formulas derived in

Chapter II for stress in round wire helical springs, a series of

strain measurements using Huggenberger extensometers was

carried out on actual helical springs of the type used in railway

applications and on semicoils cut from these springs'. The springs

tested had indexes around 3 with an outside diameter of 6

inches and a bar diameter of IV2 inches. This low index was

chosen because in some cases values as low as this are used in

actual practice. Furthermore, the use of a low index spring in the

tests meant that the difference between the results calculated

by the ordinary formulas and those calculated by more exact

theory would be considerable. Hence, a better experimental

check could be obtained.

STRAIN MEASUREMENTS

Since the dimensions of the full-sized springs were such as

to make it impossible to place an extensometer on the inside of

the coil (where the maximum stress occurs), semicoils were

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cut from actual springs and loaded in such a way as to simulate

the loading of a complete spring under an axial load. To do this,

two steel arms were welded to the semicoil as shown in Fig. 45.

These arms were then loaded by special eyebolts having spheri-

cal points so as to obtain axial loads. A photograph of the semi-

coil in position in the testing machine with the extensometer

placed at the inside of the coil at the point of maximum stress

is shown in Fig. 46. To measure the torsion stress in the coil, the

extensometer points were placed a to b and a' to b' at 45 degrees

to the axis, Fig. 45, of the bar2. From these strain measure-

author's paper "Stresses in Heavy Closely Coiled Helical Springs," Transactions

A.S.M.E. 1929, A.P.M. 51-17 gives further details.

3A pure shear stress consists essentially of a tension stress combined with an

equal compression stress at right angles thereto; both of these stresses being at 45 degrees

to the shear stress. Thus strain measurements taken at 45 degrees to the shear stress

axis allow determination of the latter.

69

70

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

ments and from formulas based on elastic theory, it is possible

to calculate the shear stress, provided the modulus of elasticity

and Poisson's ratio are known'. By using a relatively short gage

length (one centimeter), the peak stress can be found with suffi-

cient accuracy. The arrangement of Fig. 46 thus makes pos-

sible the measurement of peak stress on the inside of the coil

Fig. 45Spring semicoil test arrangement

while at the same time the axial-loading condition in a complete

spring is simulated.

Comparisons with Stress FormulasLoad-stress curves ob-

tained from the strain measurements on the outside and the in-

side of a semicoil are shown by the full lines in Fig. 47. Similar

results were also obtained by tests on a different semicoil. For

comparison with the test results the dashed lines representing

the calculated theoretical values taken from Equation 18 for the

sSee, for example, Timoshcnko Strength of Materials, Second Edition, part 1,

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Page 52.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS 71

stress at the inside of the coil and from Equation 17 for the

stress at the outside are also shown. It will be noted that the

theoretical results obtained from Equations 17 and 18 agree

within a few per cent with the experimental results. The dashed

Fig. 46Semicoil of helical spring

in testing machine. Extensometer

is at point of maximum stress on

inside of coil

line representing the stress calculated from the ordinary

formula which neglects the effects of curvature and direct shear

is about midway between the two experimental curves and is

considerably in error as far as the maximum stress is concerned.

It is also of interest to note that the measured stress on the inside

of the coil is around 2% times that on the outside. For springs of

larger index this difference, of course, would be considerably

less pronounced.

To show that these tests on semicoils were representative

of tests on complete springs axially loaded, a complete spring

was tested in compression as shown in Fig. 48. As before, ex-

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tensometers having a one centimeter gage length were applied

at the outside of the coils to measure strains at 45 degrees to the

axis of the wire. Load-stress curves obtained in this manner on

diametrically opposite sides of the spring are shown in Fig. 49.

The open circles represent stress on one side, the full circles

stress on a diametrically opposite side of the spring. It may be

72

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

seen that the stress on one side is about 10 per cent higher than

that on the opposite side at the higher loads. The reason for this

is to be found in the fact that, because of the presence of the end

coils, the load will be slightly eccentric to the spring axis (further

STRESS COMPUTED BY

ORDINARY HELICAL

SPRING FORMULA

0 5000 10000 15000 20000

SHEARING STRESS-LBS./SQ. IN.

Fig. 47Load-stress curves for semicoil

discussed in Chapter VIII). The dashed line on this figure repre-

sents the stress on the outside of the spring as calculated from

Equation 17.

In Fig. 50 the average test curve (which gives the stress duo

to the axial load only) is shown together with the calculated

curve from the same formula. It is of interest to note that this

test curve practically coincides with that obtained on the out-

side of the semi-coil, Fig. 47, up to a load of 3000 pounds, thus

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indicating that the semicoil tests do simulate the loading of a

complete spring. For comparison the stress curve computed

from the ordinary stress formula. Equation 4, which neglects

curvature and direct-shear effects is also shown.

These tests thus indicate that for small indexes the simple

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

73

stress formula for helical springs may be in considerable error.

They also indicate that the approximate formula of Equation 18

is sufficiently accurate for calculating stresses in helical springs,

elastic conditions being assumed.

DEFLECTION TESTS

To check on the usual deflection formula, Equation 7, for

helical springs, tests on actual springs were carried out some

years ago under the author's direction1. These tests also serve

as a check on the more exact deflection formula of Equation 51

which takes into account effects due to spring index and pitch

angle.

Essentially the test method was to wind three tension

springs with indexes of 9.5, 4.7 and 2.7 from a single bar of car-

bon spring steel of %-inch diameter. A total of nine springs cut

from three bars of steel were tested. The method of testing

is indicated in Fig. 51, the load being applied through an eye-

Fig. 48Extensometer used to measure stress

bolt as indicated. Deflections were measured between the

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punch marks a-a' and b-b' in the body of the spring to eliminate

the disturbing effects of the end turns. By taking an average

4"Further Research on Helical Springs of Round and Square Wire", Transactions

A.S.M.E., 1930, Page 217.

74

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

on opposite sides, the unavoidable effect of slight eccentricities

of loading were eliminated. It was found that the test load-

deflection curves were almost exactly straight lines. A typical

test curve for a spring of large index is shown in Fig. 52, the

mean or average being shown. On this curve the circles repre-

sent test points on one side of the spring, the crosses represent

those on the diametrically opposite side. Because of the un-

avoidable slight eccentricity of loading, these do not coincide.

By tests on the spring of large index made from a given

bar of material, the torsional modulus of rigidity could be de-

termined from Equation 7 for that particular bar. Average wire

diameters were obtained by measuring dt, d2, d3 and d Fig.

51 with a micrometer for each coil after the test. To do this it

Bar Nn.

3.

Table II

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Values of Modulus of Rigidity

Modulus of Rigidity, G

(Ib./sq. in.)

11.45 X 10"

11.46 X 10"

11.50 X 10"

was necessary to cut up the spring. Coil diameters were found

by measuring diameters D, and D.,, correction being made for

pitch angle. The results on the determination of modulus of

rigidity for the three bars tested are shown in Table II.

These results indicate that the modulus varied by less than

% per cent between the different bars and, hence, that the mate-

. 10000

in

to

a.

a.

8000]

<

<

r-

r-

STRESS

DUE TO-

AD P

AXIAL LO

ONLY

4r

5000 10000 15000 20000 25000

SHEARING STRESS LBS./SQ. IN.

Fig. 49Load-stress curves on complete spring

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

75

rial used for the tests was uniform.

Calculated Values ComparedFor the springs of smaller

index it was found that as indicated by the theoretical curves

of Fig. 32, the actual deflection was in most cases slightly less

than that figured by the ordinary deflection formula, i.e., ^ was

less than unity. A typical test curve for a spring of small index

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

SHEARING STRESS LBS./SQ. IN.

Fig. 50Load-stress curves for complete spring under axial loading

is shown by the full line of Fig. 53, this curve representing the

average value as measured on diametrically opposite sides. The

curve calculated from ordinary deflection formula, Equation 7,

is shown dashed.

A summary of test results obtained on six springs having

indexes of 2.7 or 4.7 is given in Table III, which shows the per-

centage deviation between the test curves and the curves cal-

culated from the ordinary formula, Equation 7, for the various

springs tested. A negative deviation means that the deflection

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was slightly less than that calculated by means of the ordinary

formula. It may be seen that the average test deviation (for

springs made from three bars 1, 2, and 3) was 1.7 per cent

for springs of index 2.7 and 1.0 per cent for springs of index

4.7 The deviations calculated by using the factor ip of Fig. 32

for the known pitch angle and spring index were 2.4 per cent

and 0.7 per cent. It is thus seen that the average test values

are within .7 per cent of the corresponding calculated values

using the more accurate method. This indicates that slightly

70

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

more accurate values of spring deflections may be obtained by

multiplying the deflections figured by the ordinary formula by

the factor \p of Equation 52 or Fig. 32. It should be mentioned,

Table III

Measured and Calculated Deviations*

from Ordinary Helical Spring Formula

Spring Bar No. Av. Test Calculated

Index 12 3 Deviation Deviation

(D/d) (%) (%) (%) (%) using factor &

2.7 3 0 2.2 1.7 2.4

4.7 1.3 1.6 0 1.0 .7

"All deviations negative, i.e., deections were slightly less than calculated from

ordinary formula Equation 7. Effect of pitch angle considered.

however, that the usual deflection formula for helical springs

is sufficiently accurate for most practical purposes.

VARIATIONS IN MODULUS OF RIGIDITY

For accurate calculation of deflections in helical springs,

knowledge of the value of modulus of rigidity or torsional

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modulus G for use in the deflection formula Equation 7 is neces-

sary. For several reasons, the effective torsional modulus of a

helical spring (which should be used in the spring formula) may

differ somewhat from that to be expected on the basis of torsion

tests on straight bars of the same material with ground and

polished surfaces. Among the reasons for this difference are

effects of overstraining of the material, presence of a decar-

burized layer on the surface, and residual stresses resulting from

the manufacture of the spring.

Effects of some of these factors will be discussed in con-

nection with test data available in the literature relative to the

modulus of rigidity of actual springs and spring materials. Un-

fortunately, this data shows that the effective torsion modulus

for any given material may vary from an average figure by sev-

eral per cent in individual cases.

Effects of OverstrainingThe value of modulus of rigidity

is reduced to some extent by overstraining the material. How-

ever, there is a tendency for a part of this reduction to be lost

after the material has stood for some time. Adams5 found that

by overstraining straight bars of high-carbon spring steel in

*Camegie Scholarship Memoirs, Iron & Steel Institute, 1937, Page 1.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

77

torsion, a reduction of several per cent in the modulus of rigid-

ity was obtained although this decrease could be eliminated by

a proper low temperature heat treatment after the overstrain-

ing. Similar results were obtained by Pletta, Smith, and Harri-

son6, on actual helical springs made from %-inch diameter bar.

These investigators found decreases in the torsional modulus

varying from about 1 to 5 per cent depending on the amount of

overstraining, and a tendency of the modulus to partially re-

cover its initial value after the spring has stood for a consider-

able length of time.

Effects of Surface DecarburizationA factor which is of

considerable importance in fixing the effective torsional modulus

is the degree of decarburization of the wire surface in the com-

PUNCH MARK

PUNCH MARK

EYEBOLT TO APPLY

LOAD TO SPRING.

PUNCH MARK

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PUNCH MARK

EYEBOLT

Fig. 51Testing helical spring for deflection

pleted spring. It is clear that, if there is a decarburized layer

of material on the surface, when the spring is stressed this ma-

terial will act like low-carbon steel and will yield at a relatively

""The Effect of Overstrain on Closely Coiled Helical Springs and the Variation of

the Number of Active Coils with Load" by Pletta, Smith and Harrison, Eng. Exp.

Station Bulletin No. 24, Virginia Polytechnic Inst.

78

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

low load. At higher loads the spring will, therefore, act to some

extent as if the layer of decarburized material were not present;

in other words, the load-deflection rate will be roughly that cor-

responding to a bar or wire having a diameter equal to the actual

diameter minus twice the thickness of the decarburized layer.

Since the actual diameter is used in the spring formula, this

effect is the same as if the effective modulus of rigidity were de-

creased. For example, a spring of %-inch hot-wound stock may-

be assumed to have a decarburized layer extending .01-inch into

the material. At the higher loads, since the decarburized layer

contributes but little to strength, the load-deflection rate corre-

sponds to a bar diameter of .52(.01).48-inch or 4 per cent

under size. Since the load-deflection rate varies as the fourth

power of the wire size, Equation 7, this means a reduction of

approximately 16 per cent in the former, or a decrease in ef-

fective modulus of rigidity of 16 per cent. In many cases, spring

LOAD ON SPRING, LB.

O MEASURED ON ONE SIDE OF SPRING.

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x MEASURED ON DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE SIDE

Fig. 52Typical load-deflection diagram for helical spring

of large index (c 9.5)

manufacturers assume a modulus figure of about 10 per cent

less for hot-rolled carbon spring steel than for hard-drawn ma-

terials. The above example shows that a decarburized layer

around 6 mils thick in te-inch diameter stock would be sufficient

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

79

to account for this lower modulus value. Such a layer may easily

occur in hot-wound spring materials.

Effect of TemperatureIn general the modulus of rigidity

of spring materials drops with increase in temperature. This

means that the deflection of a spring under a given load will be

200

600

2200 2600

OOO 1400 1800

LOAD ON SPRING, LB.

o MEASURED ON ONE SIDE OF SPRING.

MEASURED ON DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE SIDE.

Fig. 53Typical load-deflection diagram for spring of

small index (c = 2.7). Note that mean deflection of two

sides is slightly below the theoretical value

larger at higher temperatures. However, available test data

on the effects of temperature are limited. One of the few in-

vestigations made along this line is that carried out by Keulegan

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and Hauseman7 who investigated the change in modulus of

rigidity for a limited range of temperature (from 50C. to

+ 50C) for various spring materials. These investigators found

that within this range for most materials the modulus of rigidity

could be represented approximately by

G=Go(l-mt) (81)

where G=modulus of rigidity at 0C, m temperature coeffi-

cient of modulus, and t = temperature, C.

'Bureau of Stds. Jl. of Res.. Vol. 10. 1933, Page 305. See also Brombacher k

Melton, N.A.C.A. Tech. Report No. 358, 1930.

80

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Average values of m obtained by these investigators for

various spring materials are given in Table IV. For example,

for music wire an increase in temperature from 0 to 50 degrees

Cent, would mean a drop in the torsional modulus equal to

Table IV

Temperature Coefficients of Modulus of Rigidity C

(20C to 50C)

Coefficient rn

Material Grade (per C)

Oil-tempered steel .66% C .00025

Music wire .00026

Chrome-vanadium steel t .98% Cr. .24% Va .00026

Stainless steelt 18% Cr 8% Ni .00040

Monel metal t .00032

Phosphor bronze} .00040

"Data given by Keutcqan and Hauseman, Bureau of Standards Journal of Research.

Vol. 10, 1933, Page 345.

I Quenched and tempered,

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t Hard drawn.

m X50G=.00026 X 50G- .013G or 1.3 per cent in this range.

Where extreme accuracy is desired (as in instrument springs)

such effects may be important.

A rough idea of how the modulus of rigidity drops with

temperature varying from 100 degrees Fahr. to 600 or 800

degrees Fahr. may be obtained from the curves of Fig. 54. These

were obtained by drawing smooth curves through test data

published by Zimmerli and his collaborators8. Since the actual

test data reported showed considerable irregularities and scatter,

these curves should be considered as giving only a rough indi-

cation of the trend of modulus change with temperature.

DETERMINATION OF MODULUS OF RIGIDITY

In general there are three methods which have been used

to determine the modulus of rigidity for spring materials:

1. Deflection Method: Measurements of deflection in helical

springs in tension or compression

2. Direct Method: Measurements of twist of a straight bar in

a torsion testing machine

3. Torsional Pendulum Method: Measurements of the period

of a torsional pendulum from which by known formulas the

modulus of rigidity may be determined.

Deflection MethodIn using the first method, deflections

'Proceedings A.S.T.M., 1930, Part II, Page 356.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

81

are measured on actual helical springs loaded in testing ma-

chines. As mentioned previously it is advisable to measure

these deflections between coils in the body of the spring to

eliminate uncertainties due to the effects of end coils. Also to

eliminate effects due to unavoidable eccentricities of loading it

is advisable to measure deflections on diametrically opposite

sides of the coil. An average of these values then is taken. If

the deflection 8 between n turns of the spring is found, the

modulus of rigidity G may be found from

64Prsn

(82)

This equation is obtained by solving Equation 7 for G, the other

symbols having the same meanings as before. Slightly higher

1200QOOO1-

5.000,000]

-200

0 200 400 600

TEMPERATURE-F

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800

Fig. 54Temperature effect on modulus of

rigidity for various materials

accuracy may be had, particularly for small indexes, by dividing

8 by the factor \p taken from Fig. 32. However, for indexes

larger than 5 this factor may be neglected in most cases. It

82

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

should be emphasized that, for accurate results, careful measure-

ments of the spring dimensions at many points are necessary.

Usually this means that the spring must be cut up after the test

to measure the average wire diameter.

In the past, there has been some reluctance on the part of

investigators to use the deflection method on the ground that

errors in the spring formulas may introduce unknown errors in

the results. It is the author's opinion that the questions re-

garding inaccuracy of the formula have been settled, both ex-

perimentally and theoretically, and that the results are reliable

if the precautions mentioned are carried out. In addition, the

deflection method has the advantage that the modulus of rigidity

is measured on the complete spring and, hence, may be more

representative of material wound up to form actual springs. It

is possible that there may be some difference between the ma-

terial as coiled into a spring and heat treated and straight bars

of spring material as required by the other methods discussed.

Direct MethodIn using the direct method for finding the

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torsional modulus, a straight, round bar of the spring material

is twisted in a torsion testing machine. To eliminate disturb-

ances near the clamped ends it is advisable to measure twist

along a definite gage length of the material under torsion by

means of some kind of a torsion measuring device. One method

which may be used is to attach mirrors on the bar a certain

distance apart. Angular deflections of these mirrors are meas-

ured by a telescope and scale. If 6 is the angle of twist in

radians as thus measured in the gage length I the modulus of

rigidity is found from0

where T = torque producing the twist, Z = gage length, d=bar

diameter.

Measurements in which the overall angular movement of

the head of the testing machine are measured are subject to

error since there is a certain indefinite amount of twist in the

clamping jaws near the ends of the specimen and this may intro-

duce appreciable error in the results.

"This equation is easily derived from the known formula for angular twist of a

straight bar in torsion. See Strength of MaterialsTimoshenko, Part I, Page 261.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

Torsional Pendulum MethodIn the third or torsional

pendulum method a weight is supported by the spring wire and

vibrated in torsion. The frequency of oscillation / in cycles per

second is measured; from this the torsional modulus G may be

calculated from the equation

where / = mass moment of inertia of pendulum bob, 1=effective

length of wire, and d=wire diameter as before. This equation

may easily be derived from the known equation.

'L\K, <e5>

where K=torsional spring constant of the wire1.

The bar should be relatively long to reduce, as much as

possible, the indeterminate effects due to clamping at the ends

of the bar or rod. In this test, of course, the material is subject

to a combination of torsion and tension stress, the latter being

due to the weight of the pendulum bob.

Carbon Spring SteelsA summary of available test data

on modulus of rigidity of carbon spring steel is given in Table

V. Individual test data were obtained by various investigators,

using one of the three test methods described previously, i.e.,

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deflection, direct, or torsional pendulum method. In each case

the source of the data together with the method used is indi-

cated in the footnotes to the table.

Item 1 of Table V represents an average figure calculated

from the deflection measurements between coils of helical springs

reported by Edgerton, the modulus figure being an average for

tests on three springs. In using the test data, deflections beyond

the approximate elastic limit of the spring material were not

used, since practical springs are seldom loaded to such high

values. Item 2 refers to a torsion test of a %-inch diameter bar

of carbon spring steel, as tested by Adams, while Item 3 refers

to the same material after overstraining at a torque about 50

'"For example Den HartogMechanical Vibrations, McGraw-Hill, 1940, Page 43.

84

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

per cent above the torque corresponding to the proportional

limit, followed by a mild heat treatment at 228 degrees Cent.

The reduction in modulus of rigidity from 11.82 to 11.14 X 10"

pounds per square inch by this treatment gives an idea of the re-

duction which may result from stressing helical springs far beyond

the proportional limit of the material. This investigator showed

Table V

Values of Modulus of Rigidity G for Carbon Spring Steels

Wire

or Bar

Modulus

Diam-

of

Heat

eter

Rigidity

No.

Material

(in.)

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Treatment

(Ib./sq.in.XlO<)

Investigator

1% C steel, basic, open hearth Q & T

11.6

Edgerton1

1% C steel

Q & T"

i .,

11.82

Adams2

1% C steel

Q & T*. O-MHTt

v"

11.14

Adams3

1% C steel

Q & T->

9, 16

11.2

Wahl,

1% C steel

0 & T*

11.47

Wahl5

.67% C steel

Oil tempered

.028-.08 11.12

Sayre"

Music wire

.035

11.4

Brombachcr

& Melton'

Hard-drawn wire

11.4

Sayre"

0 & T = Quenched and tempered.

fO-MHT = Overstrained, mild heat treatment.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

85

was probably due to the fact that no decarburized layer was

present while the material was not overstrained. The lower

values of G found for the other cases are probably due largely

to either or both of these two effects. These latter figures are,

however, more representative of those to be expected.

Alloys, Stainless, Monel and Phosphor BronzeA summary

of available test data on the modulus of rigidity of spring mate-

rials other than carbon steels is given in Table VI.

On the basis of this data rough average values of the

modulus of rigidity may be taken as: 11.5 X 10" pounds per

Table VI

Modulus of Rigidity of Alloy Steels,

Stainless, Monel Metal and Phosphor Bronze

Wire or Bar Modulus of

Material Heat Diameter Rigidity G

Treatment (Inches) (lb./sq.in.y 10") Investigator

Cr-Va steel* Q. SrT.f % 11.75 Adams'

Cr-Va steel? O. SrT.f .148 11.2 Zimmerli, Wood

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Wilson2

Cr-Va steel Q. &T.j .375 11.45 Berry1

Stainless steel?? . ... A. SrC.D.t .148 10.5 Zimmerli, et al'

Stainless steel?? C. D.t .04-.162 10.8 Wahl

Monel metal ... A. & C. D.t .125 9.1 Zimmerli, et al'

Phosphor bronze . .. A. or C. D.t .09 6.7 Zimmerli, et al'

Phosphor bronze ... 6.3 Sayre*

Phosphor bronze .... .081 6.2 Brombacher or Melton"

10- c T. quenched and tempered.

tA. & C. D. annealed and cold drawn.

1.38% Cr, .17% Va, .21% Ni.

?1.06% Cr, .17% Va.

??18% Cr, 8% Ni.

'Carnegie Scholarship Memoirs, Iron & Steel Institute, 1937, Pages 1-55. Direct method

used. Material not overstrained.

'Proceedings A.S.T.M., 1930, Part II, Page 357. Direct method used.

'Proceedings Inst. Mech. Engrs., 1938, Page 460. Direct method used.

'Unpublished test data. Deflection method. Average of 14 springs.

'Transactions A.S.M.E., 1934, Page 556. Torsional pendulum tests.

"N.A.C.A. Technical Report No. 358, 1930, Page 568. Direct method used.

square inch for chrome vanadium steels, 10.6 X 10" for stainless

steel (18% Cr, 8% Ni), 9 X 10" for Monel metal, 6.4 X 10" for

phosphor bronze. Again it should be noted that individual test

values may deviate from these averages by several per cent.

FATIGUE TESTS

In recent years a great many investigations have been

made to determine the endurance properties of helical springs

under fatigue or repeated loading. The usual method of fatigue

86

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

testing is illustrated by the tests of automotive knee-action

springs shown in Fig. 55. The results of such tests are of direct

interest to designers and engineers who are responsible for the

selection of springs operating under fatigue loading. Another

important example is the valve spring used in internal combus-

tion engines.

A survey of the literature shows that there are consider-

able differences in the endurance limits or limiting stress ranges

for helical springs as reported by the various investigators. The

reason for this lies mainly in the fact that the endurance limit

of a helical or other type of spring is very much dependent on

the surface condition of the spring wire or bar. Slight surface

flaws or defects and surface decarburization resulting from the

manufacturing process may result in a considerable reduction

in the limiting endurance range. The low values reported in

the literature in certain cases may be due to this. A further

reason for variation in the results obtained lies in the fact that

different spring indexes may be used. Since the sensitivity of

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different materials to stress concentration effects due to bar

curvature varies, some difference in results would be expected.

This is further discussed in Chapter VI.

Small-Size SpringsAmong the more important investiga-

tions of the fatigue of helical springs, the tests conducted by

Zimmerli" should be mentioned. These tests consisted of en-

durance tests with various stress ranges on small-sized helical

springs as used for automotive valve springs. A typical endur-

ance diagram as obtained on chrome-vanadium steel springs in

this investigation is shown in Fig. 56, the stress ranges actually

used being represented by the vertical lines between the circles

and the line of minimum stress'-. The circles with the arrows

attached represent upper limits of the range which did not

cause failure within ten million cycles, while the plain circles

represent ranges which did. On the basis of these tests the es-

timated limiting endurance range is represented by the upper

dashed curve. From this diagram it may be seen that the

limiting endurance ranges are about as follows for this material:

0 to 77,000, 20,000 to 88,000, 40,000 to 98,000, 60,000 to 108,000

""Permissible Stress Range for Small Helical Springs" F. P. Zimmerli, Engineering

Res. Bulletin No. 26. University of Michigan, July 1934.

,3This type of endurance diagram has been previously discussed in Chapter I.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

87

pounds per square inch. This means that the spring could be ex-

pected to operate indefinitely within any of these ranges. Similar

diagrams were obtained on other spring materials.

A summary of the results obtained by Zimmerli together

with those obtained by other investigators is included in Table

VII. Pertinent data including kind of material, heat treatment,

Courtesy, Generat Motors

Fig. 55Fatigue tests of knee action helical springs

ultimate strength, modulus of rupture, yield strength of the ma-

terial in torsion, hardness, wire size, coil diameter, number of

coils, and spring index are given together with values of the

limiting endurance range. Where several values of limiting en-

durance range are given, diagrams similar to those of Fig. 56

may easily be constructed for a given material. In all cases the

correction factor K of Equation 18 was used to calculate the

stress range. A typical fatigue failure of a large helical spring is

shown in Fig. 25 Page 31.

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Other important investigations, the results of which are

4-

t *.

99

8cc

111

o90

ec

coo

1 ii

oc

III

--T

oo

-co

e fi 1

co e

.e

I-coo

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MECHANICAL SPRINGS

--

'

-s

1:

!=

RS

oo 9 lo

e0

-1

CO

NO

cn m

m r- co

'n

1-

r-

t-

S3-

333

53

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"a

4-

+-

.N

CO

11

ei

90

MECHANICAL SPRIXGS

summarized in Table VII are those by Johnson13 at Wright Field

and those made under the direction of the special research com-

mittee on Mechanical Springs of the A.S.M.E. and reported by

Edgerton14. Both of these investigations covered tests on the

larger sized helical springs (around %-inch bar diameter) and

were made using a stress range from zero to maximum.

Table VIII gives a summary of expected limiting stress

range as estimated from the data of Table VII and assuming a

low minimum stress, say below 10,000-20,000 pounds per square

I40000i

P0000 40000 60000 80000 100000

MINIMUM STRESS, LB. /IN'

Fig. 56Typical diagram of endurance tests on helical

springs of chrome-vanadium steel. From tests by Zimmerli

inch. This table covers the smaller wire sizes. Thus the limiting

stress range of 60.000 for cold-wound carbon steel wire means that

the spring will withstand a range of 60,000 pounds per square inch

from a low minimum stress, i.e.. ranges such as 0 to 60,000, 5,000

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to 65,000, or 10,000 to 70,000 pounds per square inch. The fig-

ures refer to results as estimated from tests reported by various in-

13"Fatigue Characteristics of Helical Springs", Iron Age, March 15, 1934,

Page 12.

""Abstract of Progress Report No. 3 on Heavy Helical Springs", Transactions

A.S.M.E. October, 1937, Page 609.

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS

91

vestigators. As will be seen there are considerable differences

between the results reported by different investigators for the

same or similar materials. The reason for this is that the quality

Table VIII

Limiting Stress Ranges Small-Size Helical Springs'

(Assuming Range from Minimum Stress Near Zero)

Limiting

Approx.

Index

Stress

Material Wire Dia.

(D/d)

Rangej

Investigate!

(inches)

(Ib./sq. in.)

M3-.16

10-11

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41000 1

Lea & Dick

31000 ]

Cold-drawn wire )

.16

60000

Zimmerli

Tatnall

.135

11

46000

.25

56000

Hengstenberg

.063

76000

''

.148

6-7

70000

Zimmerli

8-7

.148

1150001

.162

6.5

75000

1150001

.65% C

.135

14

68000

Tatnall

.148

7.4

60000

Zimmerli

.148

7. t

52000

.135

14

53000

Tatnall

(Cold wound)

92

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

called, is especially noteworthy. By this process it appears pos-

sible to raise the endurance range to values which may be ex-

pected on ground and polished bars tested in torsion. Thus,

from Zimmerli's tests, shot-blasted helical springs of chrome-

vanadium steel will have an endurance range in zero to maxi-

mum torsion of 115,000 pounds per square inch. This compares

with a value of 128,000 found by Johnson on ground and pol-

ished bars of chrome-vanadium steel for a range from zero to

maximum in torsion""' and with a value of only 70,000 pounds

per square inch for springs without the shot blasting treatment.

(Table VIII).

For satisfactory results a proper size of shot and peening

intensity must be used. Manufacturers frequently check the

latter by means of a standard A-type specimen, 3 inches long by

%-inch wide by .051-inch thick treated to Rockwell C 44-50.

This strip is supported on a heavy plate and subjected to the

same intensity of shot blast as the spring. After peening the

deflection of the strip is measured on a 1.25-inch chord. From

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Table IX

Limiting Stress Ranges for Larger-Sized Helical Compression Springs"

(minimum stress near zero)

Limiting Stress

Range

Material

Bar Diameter

Index

Investigator

(in.)

(D/d)

(lb./sq.in.)

O.H. Carbon steel .

56

4.8

68000

Jobnson

.75

5.0

72700

Edgerton

Cr.-vanadium steel

56

4.8

77000

Johnson

Beryllium bronze

56

4.8

33000

Johnson

See footnoteo of Table VIII.

data obtained from J. O. Almen the following values are satis-

factory: For 'i-inch wire diameter springs, shot size .040 and

deflection .016-inch on a 1.25-inch chord with the standard A

specimen. For coil springs and torsion bars of 1.25-inch diam-

eter bar or larger, shot size .060, deflection .012 to .015-inch on

a C specimen which has a thickness of .0938-inch but is other-

wise similar to the A specimen. For flat springs .020-inch thick,

shot size .013, deflection .003-inch on an A specimen1'.

^Additional data on this is given in the articles: ZimmerliMachine Design, Nov.

1940. Page 62. "New Trails in Surface Finishing", Steel, July 5, 1943, Page 102.

J. O. Almen"Peened Surfaces Improve Endurance of Machine Parts", Metal Progress.

Feb., May, Sept. 1943. "Improving; Fatigue Strength of Machine Parts", Mechanical

Engineering, Aug. 1943, Page 553.

'"Chapter XXIII gives more data on endurance limits of spring materials (as dis-

tinct from those of helical springs).

TESTS ON HELICAL SPRINGS 93

It should be noted that the high endurance ranges which are

obtained from shot blasting cannot ordinarily be utilized in de-

0 20000 40 000 60000 80000 100000

Minimum Stress, lb. sq. in.

Fig. 57Approximate endurance diagrams for good

quality helical springs. Limiting stress range read

vertically between line of minimum stress and lines

for each material representing maximum stress. Curva-

ture correction factor K used

sign, since, if too high a stress is used, excessive creep or load

relaxation may occur. (This is discussed in Chapter V). How-

ever, the use of the shot-blast treatment greatly reduces the

danger of fatigue failure so that the problem becomes mainly one

of avoiding excessive set or load loss.

Large-Size SpringsEstimated limiting stress ranges for

low minimum stresses for the larger-sized springs are summarized

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in Table IX.

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

On the basis of the data given in Tables VII and IX,

the curves of Fig. 57 showing the value of endurance ranges

which may be expected from good-quality helical compression

springs have been plotted. These curves hold roughly for

springs having indexes between 5 and 10. For larger indexes,

somewhat lower values may be expected and vice versa for the

smaller indexes. Since these curves represent rough average

values, considerable deviation in individual instances may be

obtained. Because of stress concentration near the hook ends

of tension springs, somewhat lower values of endurance ranges

than those given in Fig. 57 may also be found.

FATIGUE TESTS ON SPRINGS WITH FEW STRESS CYCLES

Not much data appears to be available in the literature for

helical springs subject to but a small number of stress cycles.

The following data may be mentioned. Zimmerli11 found on

.148-inch diameter valve spring wire (SAE 6150, index 7.4) a life

of 166,000 to 192,000 cycles for a stress range of 86,000, the

minimum stress being 7100 pounds per square inch (curvature

correction included in this and following data). Edgerton"

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found a life varying from 120,000 to 250,000 cycles for hot-

wound carbon steel springs of index 5 at a stress range of 100,000

pounds per square inch (minimum stress zero). H. O. Fuchs"

made tests on 7 springs of centerless ground wire (446 Brinell)

shot-pcened and preset, .648-inch diameter wire, index 7.3.

These had a life varying from 170,000 to 409,000 cycles at a stress

range between 43,000 minimum to 138,000 pounds per square

inch maximum. On 9 similar springs of .628-inch diameter wire,

the life varied from 73,000 to 178,000 cycles at a stress range

between 49,000 to 151,000 pounds per square inch.

The fatigue test data given in this chapter apply only for

springs at normal temperature with no corrosion present. . In

particular, shot blasting begins to lose its effectiveness at tem-

peratures about 500 degrees Fahr. 1 \ It should be emphasized

that the full values of stress ranges found in fatigue tests should

not be used in design. As discussed in Chapter I, a margin of

safety to take into account unavoidable uncertainties, is required.

11 Private communication.

CHAPTER V

HELICAL SPRINGS UNDER STATIC LOADING

Calculation of stress in helical springs based on elastic

theory has been treated extensively in Chapter II. It should be

noted, however, that such calculations based on proportionality

between stress and strain do not apply rigidly after the elastic

limit or yield point of the material has been exceeded. Although

the formulas given in Chapter II are of basic importance in

practical design, a consideration of what happens when the

elastic limit of the material has been exceeded is of value in

Fig. 58Statically loaded helical

spring in lightning arrester

the determination of allowable stress for helical springs. In the

present chapter, a rational basis for the choice of working stress

in springs under static loading based on such considerations

will be outlined, while in Chapter VI the question of fatigue

or variable loading will be discussed.

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95

9R

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

A statically-loaded helical spring may be defined as one

subject to a constant load or to a load repeated but a relatively

few times dining the life of the spring. A spring loaded less

than about 1000 times during its life would usually be con-

sidered as statically loaded in contrast to fatigue loading in-

volving possibly millions of cycles.

Some of the more important applications of statically-loaded

helical springs have already been mentioned in Chapter I.

These include safety-valve springs, springs to provide gasket

pressure (Fig. 6) and springs in mechanisms which operate only

occasionally. Innumerable other applications might also be

cited, such as the springs in lightning arresters Fig. 58. Here the

function of the spring is to maintain a definite space relation-

ship between the disks of the arrester, regardless of temperature

change.

When a spring is subject to fatigue or repeated loading,

failure may occur by the development of a fatigue crack which

causes eventual fracture of the spring (Fig. 25). Fracture of

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the material practically never occurs, however, where springs

are subject to static loads; in such cases the designer must guard

against excessive creep or loss in load (which takes place if

too-high working stresses are used). These effects are particu-

larly pronounced at elevated temperatures. If a small amount

of creep or load loss can be tolerated, a higher working stress

may be used than would be the case otherwise.

A factor which is of particular importance in the design

of helical springs subject to static loading is the spring index,

i.e., the ratio between coil diameter and wire diameter. Where

the spring index is small, the highest stress is concentrated near

the inside of the coil. When the load is calculated by taking

this stress into account, as will be seen later, a higher value is

permissible for small index springs than would be the case

for springs of larger indexes.

STRESS CALCULATIONS

Assuming that the peak stress is below the elastic limit, in

a spring of small index subject to a static load and normal oper-

ating temperature, the stress distribution along a transverse

diameter is shown approximately by the line be in Fig. 59a. The

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 97

peak shearing stress ab in this case is calculated by Equation

18 which is based on elastic conditions.

From Fig. 59a it is seen that, for a spring of small index, the

stress ab on the inside of the coil is much larger than the stress

a'c on the outside of the coil, i.e., most of the high stress is con-

Fig. 59Distribution of stress along transverse diameter of bar of helical

spring (elastic conditions). Small index at a, large index at b

centrated near point a. This means that a condition of stress

concentration exists, as is shown graphically by Fig. 60a where

the peak stress is concentrated in the relatively small shaded

area near a.

When the spring index is large, conditions are considerably

different, as shown in Fig. 59b. Here the stress ab on the in-

REGION OF PEAK

Fig. 60Relative distribution of regions of peak stress in cross-section of bar

of helical spring, small index at a and large index at b (for the spring of

small index most of the stress is concentrated near the inside of the coil at a)

side of the coil is only a little larger than the stress a'c on the

outside. In this case the peak stress is given approximately by

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taking K=l in Equation 18. This follows from Equation 19

98

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

which reduces to K l for very large value of the index c. For

large indexes the highest stresses are located in the ring-shaped

shaded area shown in Fig. 60b instead of being concentrated in

a relatively small region near the inside of the coil as is the case

where the index is small (Fig. 60b). In other words, in the case

of the spring of small index only a relatively small portion of

its cross-sectional area is subject to stresses near the peak, while

200 X

ii

Fig. 61Stress-strain dia-

gram for chrome-vanadium

spring steel

01 02 03 .04

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ELONGATION-INCHES PER INCH

in the case of the spring of large index, a relatively large part

of the cross section is subject to such stresses. Hence if the

load is increased so that yielding occurs over the entire cross-

section of the bar or wire it is clear that the spring of small

index will be able to carry a much larger load than would be

expected on the basis of the maximum stress calculated from

Equation 18 which assumes purely elastic conditions. The reason

for this is that, after the elastic limit is passed and yielding be-

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS

99

gins, most of the cross-section will be effective in carrying load

even for small indexes; since a good share of the cross-section

of the spring of large index is already subject to stresses near

the peak, the increase in load necessary to produce complete

yielding over the entire section will not be so great as in the

case of the small index spring, where only a small part of the

section is initially subject to stresses near the peak.

Most helical spring materials have considerable ductility

(although, of course, much less than have structural materials).

For example, a tension stress-strain diagram of a typical chrome-

vanadium steel as used for small helical springs' is shown in Fig.

61. It is seen that this has a shape of tensile stress-strain diagram

characteristic of a ductile material with a fairly sharply defined

yield point. Since most of the useful spring materials have

elongations greater than 5 per cent in 2 inches, and stress-strain

diagrams similar to that of Fig. 61, (although they may have a

greater slope after the yield point has been passed) it appears

reasonable to treat these as ductile materials. In such cases,

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where static loads are involved, as brought out in Chapter I, it

is usual practice to neglect stress concentration effects in design".

This means that the stress augment to bar curvature (which

may be considered a stress concentration effect) may be

neglected in calculating the stress under static-load conditions.

Calculations Neglecting CurvatureTo calculate the stress

in the spring by neglecting stress concentration due to bar or

wire curvature, the procedure is as follows: Assuming a helical

compression or tension spring under a load P and neglecting

effects due to the end turns and pitch angle, the torsion moment

at any point along the bar will be equal to Pr while the direct

shear will be equal to P. The distribution of torsion stress along

a transverse diameter due to the moment Pr will be as shown

in Fig. 62a while the peak torsion stress t, due to this moment

alone will be that given by the usual formula (Equation 4). Thus

16iV (86)

id?

On this stress must be superimposed the shear stress r., due to

'Engineering Research Bulletin No. 26, University of Michigan, Rives other

similar diagrams.

""Working Stresses"C. S. Soderberg, Transactions A.S.M.E., 1933, APM 55-16.

100

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

the direct shear load P, which for our purposes may be consid-

ered uniformly distributed over the cross-section3. This stress

will be assumed distributed as shown in Fig. 62b and is

4P

n - (87)

Tfl'

Maximum stress will be obtained by superposition of the

distributions of Fig. 62a and b giving a resultant distribution

shown in Fig. 62c. The maximum stress, T. , thus obtained by

neglecting stress concentration effects, is

tm=r, + tJ + (88)

ia' 7rCt-

This equation may be written

rm l^-K. (89)

where

K.= l+ (90)

The factor K, which will be called a shear-stress multiplication

factor is plotted as a function of spring index c in Fig. 63.

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Thus for static loads it appears logical to use Equation 89

(derived on the assumption that stress concentration effects may

be neglected). In order to form an idea of the margin of safety

of the spring against yielding, the stress computed by Equation

89 should be compared with the yield point of the material in

torsion, which for most spring materials may be taken as about

57 per cent of the tension yield point.

LOAD FOR COMPLETE YIELDING

There is a somewhat different (and perhaps more logical)

approach to the problem of designing a spring for static load

3Actually there will be some non-uniformity in the distribution of the shear

stress but since this will have a similar effect to that of stress concentration due

to bar curvature it will be neglected.

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 101

() (b) (O

Fig. 62Superposition of stresses in helical springstress con-

centration due to bar curvature neglected. At a is shown stress

due to torsion moment, b is stress due to direct shear, and c su-

perposition of stresses shown at a and b

conditions. This method is based on the consideration of the

load required to produce complete yielding of the material in

the spring, the working load being then taken as a certain per-

centage of the load required to produce complete yielding. If

a spring material gives a stress-strain curve similar to that of

Fig. 61, it may be expected that after exceeding the yield point

the distribution of stress across a transverse diameter will be

something like that shown in Fig. 64a for a spring of small index

and in Fig. 64b for one of large index. Actually it may be ex-

pected that for many materials some rise in the stress-strain

<r

SPRING INDEX C - ^f-

Fig. 63Curve for finding shear stress multiplication

factor K,. This factor takes into account effects due to

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direct shear load but not to bar curvature

102

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

curve after passing the yield point will take place due to the

cold working effect so that actually the curves of Fig. 64 will be

approximately trapezoidal in form. However, the assumption

of a rectangular distribution, which lends itself to simplicity in

analysis, will be sufficiently accurate. Because of the necessity

for carrying a considerable direct-shear load, particularly where

Fig. 64Assumed distribution of torsion stress under plastic con-

ditions for springs of different indexes. At a is shown small

index, large index at b. For the smaller indexes the area A, is

much greater than A, to take care of the direct shear load

the spring index is small, it may be expected that in such cases

the area A, will be greater than A, in Fig. 64a. On the other

hand, if the index is large, these two areas will be about the

same, Fig. 64/;. Due to this effect, the point O' where the stress

is zero is shifted by an amount e from the geometrical center O.

The calculation of the load P at which complete yielding

over the entire cross section occurs represents a problem in

plastic flow which is extremely complicated for low index

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springs. This is true since a determination of the directions of

the resultant shear stress at all points of the cross section under

yielding is necessary to evaluate the shear force and moment.

However, an approximate solution based on reasonable as-

sumptions may be obtained as follows:

It is assumed that the directions of the resultant shear stress

during yielding at all points of the cross section may be repre-

sented by a series of circles as shown in Fitf. 65a. The centers

Qf successive circles are displaced so that each circle intersects

the transverse axis BB' at equal intervals between PC and O'B'

where O' represents the point of zero stress (the line BB' rep-

resents an axis transverse to the spring axis). If no strain hard-

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 103

ening is assumed, i.e., if the resultant shear stress is taken equal

to the shearing yield point t at all points and the direction

taken along each circle, it is possible to calculate the resultant

moment and shear load for a given displacement t of the point

O' from the center O. From this the spring index may be found.

Referring to Fig. 65b, the circle with center at A represents

one of the circles of Fig. 65a. On the basis of the assumption

of equal spacing of the points of intersection of the circles be-

tween O'B and O'B', the radius p' of this circle will be

O'D

p=

1-

(91)

Using this formula for any point D along O'B, a series of circles

may be constructed as in Fig. 65a.

Considering a small element dA at radius p and angle 6,

Fig. 65c, this element will be acted on by a shear force rydA

making an angle <p with the radius OC. The area is

dA-pdpdB (92)

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The moment of this shear force about the center O will be

dMy = T (sin <j/ )pdA

Using Equation 92 in this,

dMy = tu(sin $)p-dpd6) (93)

(a) (b)

Fig. 65Schematic diagram of resultant shear stress direction over cross

section for low index helical spring under yielding. Point of zero stress O'

is displaced from geometrical center O away from spring axis

104

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The total moment acting will be the integral of these elementary

moments over the whole cross section. Thus the moment My for

complete yielding over the section becomes

My= J y tv(sin+)p-dpdO (94)

In this sin ip is a complicated function of both c, p and 6 and

for this reason integration of Equation 94 in general terms is

difficult. However, by assuming a given e and d and by draw-

ing the circles as shown in Fig. 65a, the value of sin ip can be

found for any given angle 6 and radius p. Drawing equally

spaced radii from the center of the cross section O as indicated

m Fig. 65a and plotting the value of tp2sin ,p along each radius

as a function of distance p, the integral of Equation 94 may be

evaluated. This involves the determination of the area under the

curve for each radius, multiplying by a constant depending on

the angular spacing of the radii and adding the total. In this

way the total moment My for a given e and d may be obtained.

The resultant shear load P over the cross section may be

obtained in a similar manner. Referring to Fig. 65c the vertical

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component of the shear force acting on the element dA is

dPy= ta sin(\j/ 9)dA

The negative sign is used since the shear force is considered

positive downward. Using the expression for dA given by

Equation 92 in this

dPv= ty sin{f-6)pdpde (95)

The total vertical shear force P acting over the section for

complete yielding will be the integral of these elementary forces

taken over the section. Hence

P= - / / r, sinii-BipdpdO (96)

Again this may be evaluated by drawing circles as in Fig.

65a, drawing equally spaced radial lines, measuring ifz Q, and

plotting the function tp sin (i/< 0) along each radius, and find-

ing the area under each curve. By adding these with proper

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 105

algebraic sign and multiplying by a constant, the resultant shear

force Py for a given e and bar diameter d is found.

Since M=Pr where recoil radius,

Hence, if the values of M and P obtained by graphical or

numerical integration of Equations 94 and 96 are known, the

coil radius r may be found for a given e and d. From this the

spring index 2r d is obtained.

If it is assumed that the spring is essentially a straight bar

acted on by a torsion moment M,' = P'r, direct shear being

neglected, the value of M,/ for constant yield stress t is

Comparing this equation with Equation 3, it is seen that the

moment M,' (or load P') for complete yielding of a large index

spring is about 33 per cent higher than that at which yielding

starts (obtained from Equation 3 by taking rm=ry). In actual

springs because of strain hardening and other effects, higher

percentage values may be expected, however.

By comparing values of M,/ (Equation 97) for a large index

spring and A/ (Equation 94) for a small index spring, an esti-

mate of the effect of the direct shear load is possible. The ratio

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My/My may be considered comparable to the factor KH (Equa-

tion 90) derived previously by neglecting stress concentration

effects. Although a complete solution of this problem obtained

by using Equations 94 and 97 for various spring indexes is not

available at this writing, the indications at present are that the

ratios M'/M are considerably less than K as given by Equa-

tion 90. However, because of possible inaccuracies in the as-

sumptions made regarding the shear stress directions, Fig. 65a,

and because of strain hardening effects not considered, the more

conservative value of K given by Equation 90 will be retained

for design purposes.

If the yield stress in torsion tu is known, the load at which

complete yielding of the spring occurs (where the load deflec-

(97)

Table X

Load and Deflection per Turn for

Statically-Loaded Helical Springs0

Outsit!'- Diameter of Springs (inches)

Wire

Dism. inches

1/8

5 32

3 16

14

5 16

38

7 16

12

5/8

34

7/8

1-1 8

.014

1'

.720

.0378

.590

.0570

.411

106

.352

.172

.293

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1-1 4

. 2 VI

.0228

.016

1.372

.0180

1.09

.0319

.900

0178

.664

.0910

520

.1465

. 118

376

.302

.218

.018

1.98

.0162

1 .55

.0273

1.275

0111

.952

.0794

753

.1285

.625

. 191

.538

.266

.470

.352

Table X (continued)

Outside Diameter of Springs (inches)

Wirt

Dim. inch

1-3 8

1-1 H

1-5/8

1-3/4

1-7 8

2-14

2-1 It

2-3/4

3-1 2

4-1 It

(MS

.99!

.051

3.89

.937

3.55

1.12

.055

4.85

4.45

4.11

Mi1

1.03

1.22

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3.25

Strega n( 1 00. 000 In /en in. i

nffi fnr rnn-

-yj

6.01

5.50

.955

5.08

1.13

venience. For any other stress T,

values

r turn)

. De-

.782

of P (load in lb.) and y (deflection pe

should be multiplied by T/1OO,OO0

.063

7.33

.737

6.71

6.20

1.05

5.75

1.23

.887

7.45

6.90

1.15

108

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

load will usually be somewhat below the actual load obtained

by tests since K, as given by Equation 90 is probably somewhat

high and since strain hardening effects come into the picture.

APPLICATION OF FORMULAS TO SPRING TABLES

To facilitate the application of Equations 89 and 7 in the

design of statically loaded helical springs Table X, has been

computed. This table gives loads and deflections per turn at a

stress of 100,000 pounds per square inch and a torsion modulus

of 11.5X10" pounds per square inch as computed from Equa-

tions 89 and 7 for various standard outside coil diameters and wire

sizes. The music wire gage is used for sizes up to .090 and the

National Wire Gage for sizes from .106 to %-inch.

Although stresses of 100,000 pounds per square inch may ac-

tually be used in some practical cases, it should be noted that

this stress is used in the table for convenience only and is not

necessarily the recommended working stress. The actual work-

ing stress for a statically-loaded spring should be equal to the

yield stress of the spring material divided by a factor of safety

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(Chapters IV and XXIII give data on the yield points of spring

materials). If the yield stress in tension is known, the yield

stress in torsion may be taken as about 57 per cent of that in

tension. This factor .57 is based on the shear-energy theory

discussed in Chapter 2. Values of factor of safety as used in

practice may vary from 1.5 to as low as 1.25 in some cases.

To use Table X for any value of stress other than 100,000

pounds per square inch, the loads and deflections given in the

table should be modified in the same ratio. As an example, as-

suming a spring of one inch outside diameter and .135-inch

wire, from Table X the load and deflection per turn are 103

pounds and .141-inch, respectively, at 100,000 pounds per

square inch stress figured from Equations 89 and 7. If the

material used is music wire with an ultimate strength of 260,000

pounds per square inch in this size and a yield point in tension

of about .8 this or 208,000 pounds per square inch, the yield

point in torsion is then 57 per cent of this or about 120,000.

Assuming a factor of safety of 1.5 based on the yield point is

desired, this gives a working stress of 120000/1.5 = 80,000

pounds per square inch. This means that the permissible loads

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 109

and deflections per turn, under these conditions would be 80

per cent of those given in the table. In the case cited, the

allowable deflection per turn would be .80(.141) = .113-inch

and the permissible load would be .80(103) = 82.5 pounds.

To facilitate computation for intermediate coil and wire

diameters not given in Table X, the charts of Figs. 66 and 67

have been plotted. In Fig. 66 the ordinate represents load al

WIRE DIAMEtER, INCHES

jOS .07 j09 .121 .20

WIRE DIAMETER, INCHES

Based on a stress of 100,000 lb./sq. in. To find load at any other stress r, loads given

must be multiplied by r/100,000. Not to be used for fatigue loading

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Fig. 66Chart for calculating loads in statically-loaded helical springs

I 10

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

100,000 pounds per square inch torsion stress (calculated by neg-

lecting the stress increase due to curvature) while the abscissa

represents wire diameter. Each curve represents a given outside

diameter of the spring. Thus for a wire size of .090-inch and

an outside diameter of %-inch the load at 100,000 pounds per

square inch stress is about 61 pounds.

In Fig. 67 the deflections per turn represented by the or-

dinates are plotted against wire diameter for various outside

coil diameters. Thus for a wire size of .106-inch and a coil out-

side diameter of %-inch, the deflection per turn is .035-inch.

It should be noted that a small error will result in reading the

results from the charts of Figs. 66 and 67 and for best accuracy

Equations 89 and 7 should be used. These charts, however,

are sufficiently accurate for most practical purposes.

Curvature EffectsFrequently, spring tables or charts based

on Equation IS which yield the peak stress including curvature

effects are available, (Chapter VII). These tables may also be

used provided that the stress on which the table or chart is based

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be divided by a factor K, where KC=K/K values of K and K

being obtained from Equations 19 and 90. The value of K,.

represents the stress concentration effect due primarily to wire

or bar curvature, while K, represents the increased stress due

to the direct shear of the axial load. This follows since K KCK.

For convenience in calculation, values of K,- are given in Fig. 68

as functions of spring index c. Thus, if a table or chart is based

on a stress of 100,000 pounds per square inch and if the spring

index is 6 and K, = 1.15, the stress calculated by neglecting

curvature would be 100000/1.15 or 87000 pounds per square

inch. This latter would then be compared with the yield point.

ExamplesAs an example of this design procedure for

statically-loaded springs, a spring may be considered of index

3, chrome-vanadium steel having a tension yield stress of around

190,000 pounds per square inch and a yield stress in torsion

about 57 per cent of this or 110,000 pounds per square inch.

Assuming that a factor of safety of 1.5 based on the yield stress

in torsion is to be used, the working stress for the static-load

condition as figured by using Equation 89 would then be

110,000/1.5 = 73,000 pounds per square inch. For an index 3,

the factor K, 1.35 (Fig. 68); hence the allowable stress as

figured by using Equation 18 (which includes curvature effects)

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 111

For any other stress t, values should bo multiplied by T/100,000. Also, if the modulus

G is other than 11.4 X 10", values should be multiplied by 11,400,000/G

Fig. 67Chart for calculating deflections in statically-loaded helical springs

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of round wire. Based on torsion modulus, G = 11.4 x 10" Ib./sq. in.

112

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

would be 73000 (1.35) = 98000 pounds per square inch. If

charts based on this equation are used (such as those given in

Chapter VII) the other spring proportions such as active turns,

coil and wire diameters, free and solid heights, are determined.

As a second example: A spring has an index of 15 with

other conditions the same as in the previous example. For an

index 15, the factor K, = 1.06 from Fig. 68. Again assuming

an allowable stress figured by neglecting stress concentration,

equal to 2 3 the yield stress in torsion or 73000 pounds per

square inch, the allowable stress figured from Equation 18 would

be 73000 (1.06) . 77,400 pounds per square inch. This stress

is lower than the allowable value in the previous example. This

illustration shows how the peak calculated stress (with curva-

ture considered) would vary with the spring index, assuming

that the same margin is being maintained between the work-

ing load and the load required to cause complete yielding.

CREEP AND RELAXATION UNDER ELEVATED TEMPERATURES

In the previous discussion the determination of working

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stress for statically-loaded helical springs was based on the yield

point of the material, normal temperatures being assumed. As

long as the working stress is kept well below this point, no

trouble from creep or set should be experienced, provided the

operating temperature is not more than about 200 degrees Fahr.

for ordinary spring steels.

For higher operating temperatures it is not usually suffi-

cient to base the design on the yield point or elastic limit of

the material. The best method of determining working stresses

in such cases is to make actual creep or relaxation tests at

various temperatures. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal

of data available as to the amount of loss of load which may be

expected. The most comprehensive series of tests so far carried

out to determine relaxation or loss of load in helical springs have

been those reported by Zimmerli4. These tests were made by

compressing helical springs by a given amount in a special test

fixture. This compressed spring was then put into a furnace

and left for a period of time varying from three days for the

t"Etfects of Temperature on Coiled Steel Springs at Various Loadings"

F. P. Zimmerli, Tramaclioni A.S.M.E., May, 1941, Page 363.

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 11J

carbon and low-alloy steel springs to ten days for the stainless

steel springs. After this heating, the springs were removed from

I-

in

ii

o 10 I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 * 1 1

* 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 II 12 13 14 15

SPRING INDEX C=

Fig. 68Curve for finding stress-concentration factor Kc

the test fixture and the loss in free height determined. From this

loss in free height (due to permanent set) the percentage loss

in load could be calculated.

Load Loss TestsThe results obtained by Zimmerli are

summarized in Table XI for various spring materials. The values

given in this table represent percentage loss in load in a period

of three days at the temperature listed, except for the stainless

steel springs where the tests were run ten days. The stresses were

figured with curvature correction, Equation 18. If figured with-

out curvature correction these values would be about 10 per

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cent lower. The actual tests were made with springs which had

been subjected to various bluing or stress relieving tempera-

tures for periods of thirty minutes. In the table the values of

load loss obtained at the optimum bluing temperatures are

listed. If stress relieved at lower temperatures, the values of

load loss were usually considerably greater. It appears that at

the lower bluing temperatures not all the coiling stresses are

removed; when these latter are combined with the load stresses

a greater set takes place than would be the case otherwise.

From this table it appears that, at stresses of 100,000 pounds

per square inch or about 90,000 figured without curvature cor-

rection, about ten per cent load loss may be expected within three

days for music wire or the .6 per cent carbon steel wire, when

IN

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

subject to temperatures of 350 degrees Fahr. Somewhat lower

values may be expected for the chrome-vanadium steel. Stain-

less steels of the 18-8 type showed a load loss of only about

four per cent at 350 degrees Fahr. which increased to 11.5 per

cent at 550 degrees Fahr. at the same stress (100,000 pounds per

square inch). These latter tests were run for ten days. For very

long periods of time higher load losses may be expected.

On the basis of his work Zimmerli concluded that the usual

spring steels are reliable when stressed to not more than 80,000

pounds per square inch (or to about 72,000 pounds per square

inch figured without curvature correction) at temperatures up to

350 degrees Fahr. Above this temperature and up to 400 degrees

Fahr. erratic results may be expected, while ordinary spring

steels cannot be used for temperatures above 400 degrees Fahr.

He also concluded that "stainless steels of the 18-8 type resist

temperature and stress better than others, except high-speed."

A further conclusion drawn from this series of tests was that,

for small wires, springs heat-treated after coiling showed no

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advantage over those wound from pretempered wire properly

blued. Also the best bluing temperature was found to be in the

Table XI

Percentage Loss in Load for Helical Springs at Elevated Temperatures

Loss in

Loss in

Load at

Load at

80,000

100,000

lb./sq.in.

Tem-

Bluing

Ib./sq.in.

Rock-

Oiameter perature

Temp.t

Stress"

Stress*

well

Material

(in.)

i Fl

(F)

(%)

(%)

Hardness

Music wire . . .

.148

250

T00

2.5

4.7

48

.91% C .31% Mn

!062

350

700

10

IS

Music wire

250

7(10

2.5

3.5

51

.91% C .31% Mn

.'l48

350

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS

115

highest which can be had without objectionable lowering of

hardness or physical properties. For further details on this the

reader is referred to the original article1.

Analytical Method of CalculationsSome analytical meth-

ods have been developed by Nadai"' for calculating creep and

relaxation. A brief resume of these methods will be given:

It is first assumed as an approximation that the spring is

essentially a bar under pure torsion. This will be approximately

true for large index springs. Letting P = load on spring, r =

mean coil radius, d = wire diameter, and 6 the angle of twist

per unit length along the wire, the twisting moment will be

M -= Pr. If > unit shear at a distance p from the center of

the wire cross section. Then

7 = />9 (98)

As is common in creep problems the unit shear strain i

will be assumed to consist of an elastic part f' and a plastic

part >". Thus, using Equation 98,

y = y'+y"=pe (99)

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From elastic theory, the following relation holds:

where r=shear stress at radius p (Fig- 24, Chapter II) and

G = modulus of rigidity of the material.

Differentiating Equation 99 with respect to time t,

where the dot denotes differentiation with respect to time.

Assuming that dy"/dt=g(r) where g(r) is a function of

shear stress t only, using Equation 100 and by substitution in

Equation 101,

(100)

1 dr

G ~dt

+g(t> = pd

(102)

s"The Creep of Metals Under Various Stress Conditions'*-A. Nadai, Th. ton

Karman Anniversary Volume, 1941. Also bibliography given in this reference.

1 16

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The axial load P is given by

M 27t pa

P= / rp'dp (103)

r r Jo

where o=d/2=radius of wire.

Steady CreepTo calculate the steady creep of the spring

under a constant load P, it will be assumed that the shear stress

t at elevated temperatures is governed by a power function law.

This has been found to agree with tests over limited ranges of

strain rates. This gives, using Equation 101,

t=t,( dJt y=t'/p9> (io4)

where (0sfc<l). In this k is an exponent which depends on the

temperature and can be determined by actual creep tests.

Substituting this value of t into Equation 103, and inte-

grating

(3+*)r (15)

For steady creep, after sufficient time has elapsed so that

the stresses due to creep become constant, the expression

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dr/dt = 0 in Equation 102. Solving for the value of 6 by using

Equation 105 and substituting in Equation 104,

r- (106)

In Fig. 69 the distribution of stress over the cross-section

for steady creep under a load P is indicated by the curved line

which may be obtained by calculating t as a function of p from

Equation 106. The straight line which represents the initial

stress distribution (for a spring of large index) is also shown.

It should be noted that the distribution of stress given by

Equation 106 only occurs after a considerable time has elapsed.

To calculate the stress distribution for the intermediate period,

procedure may be as follows: From Equation 105 since P is

assumed constant:

STATICALLY-LOADED HELICAL SPRINGS 117

= 0 or I

at "' at

Using in this the value of dr/dt given by Equation 102,

fftWdp -.(107)

1/

Using Equation 107 in Equation 102 and rearranging terms

the following integro-differential equation results:

~ ^- = ~rf sMP'dfi-g(r) (108)

u- at O.l

The solution of this equation for t = 0 is the usual formula:

2Prp

TO4

For t = co the solution is given by Equation 106.

RelaxationTo calculate the relaxation or loss in load

of a spring initially compressed (or extended) to a given length,

INITIAL STRESS

DISTRBUTION

STEADY

DISTRBUTION

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Fig. 69Initial and steady Fig. 70Stress distribution

distribution of stress for during relaxation of spring

spring subject to creep showing time effect

the procedure is as follows: Since the length of the spring does

not change with time, the angle of twist per unit length 6

remains constant. Hence 6 0. Using Equation 102 the follow-

ing differential equation is obtained:

(109)

To integrate this, a power function is again assumed:

118

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

(110)

where C is a given constant.

Substituting this into Equation 109,

8t

+GCt" = 0

(111)

Integrating this with respect to time and determining the

integration constant from the condition that for t = 0, a linear

stress distribution over the cross section occurs,

In this ti = t p/a is the initial stress distribution. Solving for t,

Shear StressesThe distribution of shearing stresses over

the cross-section for various times t is illustrated by Fig. 70.

It should be noted that the peak stress drops considerably as

time goes on while the stress distribution tends to flatten out

and approach a more uniform distribution. After a considerable

period of time the shear stresses approach the value:

r="Rra-i )CGtyi~^(113'

Using this value and assuming a rectangular distribution of

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stress, the expression for load P at large values of t becomes

The exponent n must be obtained from relaxation tests.

More exact expressions for load may be obtained by using

the value of t given by Equation 112 in Equation 103 and

evaluating the integral numerically or graphically.

1 (n-l)CGt

tn-, ,..o-]

(112)

(114)

CHAPTER VI

FATIGUE OR VARIABLE LOADING OF HELICAL

SPRINGS

In the previous chapter a rational basis for determining

working stresses in helical springs subject to static or infre-

quently repeated loading was discussed. In cases where springs

are subject to fatigue or repeated loading, as for example in au-

tomotive valve springs, a somewhat different approach to the

problem of determining working stress is necessary. In the

case of helical springs, the problem is complicated by the fact

that the spring is usually subject to a load (or stress) which

varies from a minimum value to a maximum. As shown in Chap-

ter I this is equivalent to a constant or a steady load on which

is superimposed a variable or alternating load. Thus in the case

of the automotive valve spring, the constant component of the

load is determined by the initial compression of the spring while

the variable component is determined by the valve lift.

If all spring stresses are calculated by means of the curva-

ture correction factor K, Equation 18, conservative design will

result. This procedure appears justified if the spring is subject

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to a considerable range of stress in fatigue. Where there is a

considerable static load component on which is superimposed

a variable load component, however, it appears logical to neglect

stress concentration effects due to curvature in figuring stresses

from the static component of the load. In this connection there

has been a general opinion among spring engineers that the

use of the factor K will result in too low values of working

load; in other words that the stresses computed this way are too

high. This view was confirmed to a certain extent by the results

of a series of carefully made fatigue tests on small helical

springs of different indexes carried out by Zimmerli1. These

showed that the limiting stress range in fatigue, when figured

by using the K factor, was higher for the springs of smaller

indexes. Similar results were reported by Edgerton- in connec-

'Transactions A.S.M.E., January, 1938, Page 43.

'Transactions A.S.M.E., October, 1937, Page 609.

119

120

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

tion with fatigue testing work on heavy helical springs by the

A.S.M.E. Special Research Committee on Mechanical Springs.

These tests will be discussed later.

A further reason why the full stress-concentration effect cor-

responding to the curvature correction factor K does not always

occur (even for fatigue loading) lies in the fact that some ma-

terials are not fully sensitive to stress concentration. In other

words, when such materials are tested by means of specimens

having notches, holes, or fillets, the fatigue strength reduction

produced by the presence of such "stress raisers" is not as great

as that to be expected based on theoretical stress-concentration

factors. These so-called theoretical stress-concentration factors

may be determined either by analytical means using the theory

of elasticity3, by strain measurements, or by photoelastic tests4.

This lack of sensitivity to stress concentration effects is in

general more pronounced in the smaller sized specimens and for

the low-carbon steels, while on the other hand the fine-grained,

high-strength alloy steels are very sensitive to such effects5. In

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the case of helical springs, the decarburization of the surface

layer which occurs during heat treatment and the effects of shot-

blast treatments, if used, represent further factors which tend to

reduce sensitivity to stress-concentration.

METHODS OF CALCULATION

In accordance with the previous discussion and that of

Chapter I a method of evaluating working stress in helical

springs under variable loading based on the following assump-

tions will be described:

1. Stress concentration effects due principally to bar or wire

curvature in helical springs may be neglected in figuring the

static component of stress

2. Relation between the limiting value of the static and variable

stress components at failure follows a linear law

3For example Theory of ElasticityTimoshenko, McGraw-Hill. Also Neuber

Kerbspannungslehre, Springer, Berlin for methods of determining stress concentration

factors by analytical methods.

'Frocht, M. M.Photoelasticity, Vol. I, Wiley.

Tapers by R. E. Peterson on "Correlating Data from Fatigue Tests of Stress

Concentration Specimens", Timoshenko Anniversary Volume, Macmillan, 1938, and

"Application of Stress Concentration Factors in Design", Proceedings Society for Experi-

mental Stress Analysis, Vol. 1, No. 1, Page 118, discuss this. Also article by Peterson

and Wahl, Journal of Applied Mechanics, March, 1938, Page A-15 and discussion De-

cember, 1936, Page A-146.

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS 121

3. Tensile and fatigue properties of the material are the same

in springs of different indexes, assuming the same size wire

4. Effects of eccentricity of loading due to end turns are neg-

lected

5. Residual stresses produced by heat-treatment or overstress-

ing the springs may be neglected.

These factors will be discussed more fully later. For the present,

full sensitivity of the material to stress concentration will also

be assumed. Later the effects of variations in the sensitivity in-

dex of the materia] (due to surface decarburization, shot blast-

ing, etc.) will be considered.

Full Sensitivity to Stress ConcentrationReferring to Fig.

71, the dashed line shows a typical experimental curve of failure

for materials under a combination of static and variable stress.

The ordinates represent values of variable stress which will just

cause failure when superimposed in the static stresses shown by

the abscissas. Assuming that fatigue tests are made on a spring

of large index (c = ) so that Kc = 1, and letting r' denote

the endurance limit in a zero to maximum stress range obtained

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'r

STATIC STRESS T,

Fig. 71Application of straight line law, to helical

springs when endurance limit t'e for pulsating load appli-

cation (zero to maximum) and yield stress ty are known

on this spring, then the point P on the diagram is determined.

For this case (0 to maximum stress) both the static and vari-

able components are equal to re'/2. As an approximation, the ex-

perimental curve may be replaced by the straight line PA drawn

to intersect the axis of abscissas at t, the torsional yield point

122

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of the material". This is done since in general no stress should

exceed the yield point7. To apply this diagram in actual design,

it may be assumed that the spring is operating under a fatigue

stress range from tt(), to tmax where these stresses are figured by

using the full curvature correction factor K=K,K3 (see Page

110). Then the variable component of stress t, is

tmnz teiin

.(115)

This, of course, presupposes full sensitivity to stress concentra-

tion. The static component of stress t, when figured by neg-

lecting stress concentration effects due to bar curvature, then

becomes

(116)

t(BBi4"tm in

The right side of the last equation is divided by Kc = K/K

since this factor has already been used in figuring rmax and t,,;

1.6

<o

1.4

to

u'

cc

to

ij

\Z

i N

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Fig. 72Chart for determining

working stress factor Ck for

ty/t'.- = 1.5 and </ = 1

in

/to

Tw N

/f

rmin/tmax.

Fig. 73Chart for determining

working stress factor for Ctr for

ty/r'e = 2 and q 1

cIf the yield point is not sharply defined, as an approximation it may be taken

as that point where the plastic strain is .2 per cent. See "Concerning the Yield Point

in TensionJ. M. Lessells, Proceedings A.S.T.M., 1928, Page 387.

The ultimate strength in torsion could be substituted for jy if desirable. In

some cases this would give results in closer agreement with tests, but the results

obtained by using the yield point will, in general, be on the safe side.

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS 123

therefore, to neglect stress concentration effects due to curvature

division by K, is necessary. An analytical expression for the line

PA, Fig. 71, in terms of t and t is

. (117)

+-

t t,

~2

'-( 5 )

This is merely the equation of a straight line passing through

points P and A. Substituting the values of tv and t given by

Fig. 74Chart for determining

working stress factor C for t/t'<

2.5 and q = 1

.(118)

2 .4 6

T7mn./T7Bax.

Equations 115 and 116 in this equation,

This equation gives the maximum stress3 tmax in terms of K,,

t, tminhmax and t/tc' and may be written

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tnat=C^T,' (119;

where the factor C is a function of KC, tu, t,i/t,ur and tu/t,',

"It is assumed that the variable component of stress is not Hrea*T than the static

component, i.e., that only stress conditions corresponding to the line PA in Fig. 71 an?

considered. This is almost always the case.

124

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

2 ty

Cm

M-0('~)

(120)

Since Ke is a function of spring index c, values of Cw may

be plotted in the form of charts for various spring indexes, and

various values of t/t'.

For design purposes the value of t,o given by Equation 119

is divided by a factor of safety N so that the working stress

becomes

It may be shown that this amounts to assuming a line CD,

Fig 71, parallel to the line PA and intersecting the axis of ab-

scissas at a distance t/N from O. Any combination of variable

and static stresses which falls on the line CD is thus assumed

to have a factor of safety N.

For convenience in calculation, charts showing the rela-

tion between Cw and tmin/tmax for various spring indexes at

given values of tv/t,-' are given in Figs. 72, 73 and 74. These

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charts have been computed using the expression for Cw given

in Equation 120 and assuming a definite value of tu/t, '. Thus

in Fig 73 the latter ratio is taken equal to 2. These charts show

clearly how the maximum permissible stress increases with in-

crease in tmin/tmax and that this increase is greater for the

springs of smaller index. However, this increase in allowable

stress will be limited by creep and relaxation effects as discussed

in Chapter V.

Material not Completely Sensitive to Stress Concentration

A similar procedure may be used for cases where the spring

material is not fully sensitive to stress concentration. It will be

assumed that the "sensitivity index" of the material (which is a

measure of the actual sensitivity to stress concentration) has

been determined for the given material and wire size by actual

fatigue tests". This sensitivity index q is defined as

"References of footnote 5 give a further discussion of "sensitivity index."

(121)

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS 125

where K^=fatigue strength reduction factor, i.e., the ratio of

endurance limit without stress concentration to endurance limit

with stress concentration present. Here Kc is again the theo-

retical stress concentration factor due to bar or wire curvature.

For materials completely insensitive to stress concentration

K/=l and from Equation 122, q=0. For materials fully sensi-

tive, K/=KC and hence q=l. Thus the more sensitive mate-

rials, such as the fine-grained alloy steels in the larger sizes,

would show larger values of q than would materials not sensi-

tive to stress concentration. As mentioned previously, the sur-

face condition of wire or bar would also have an effect on the

sensitivity and hence on the index.

To take into account the effect of lack of sensitivity to stress

concentration, the stress range timu: i-,i should be calculated

by using the fatigue strength reduction factor K/ rather than the

theoretical factor K,. If q is known, by solving for Kt in Equa-

tion 122,

It is, however, assumed that t,ux and tmi have already been cal-

culated in the usual way by using the curvature correction factor

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K = K, Kc. Therefore, if the value of multiplied by

Kt/Ke, a reduced value of variable stress t will be obtained

which will take into account the sensitivity effect. Hence,

K,-l+q(K.-l)

(123)

(124)

Using Equation 123 in this,

(t,.,-t,-) [l+q(Ke-l)]

2 Kc

(125)

Substituting Equations 116 and 125 in Equation 117,

2r

(126)

l+gdC-l)

It is seen that where q = l (full sensitivity) this equation

reduces to Equation 118. For q = 0 (no stress concentration ef-

126

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

feet) the denominator of this equation is in effect divided by K,

which means that stress concentration effects due to curvature

as represented by KC are neglected entirely both for the static

and variable stress components. This is equivalent to using the

factor K of Equation 90.

From Equation 126 is obtained:

C = 2tu/t/ -(127)

This also reduces to Equation 120 when q = l.

Charts showing Cw as a function of spring index c for a

sensitivity index q = Vi and for t/t,' equal to 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 are

given in Figs. 75, 76 and 77, respectively. These charts are

2-l 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

given merely as examples to show the effect of a reduction in

the sensitivity of the material as measured by the index c on

the allowable stress t . From these figures, it may be seen that

for materials not sensitive to stress concentration the allowable

working stress is considerably higher for the springs of smaller

index as compared to the larger index springs.

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Application of ChartsTo illustrate the application of the

charts of Figs. 72 to 77 in practical work, the following condi-

tions may be assumed: A spring of V4-inch wire diameter and

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS 127

%-inch mean coil diameter, i.e., c=3. Fatigue tests on springs

of large index and on the same size wire subjected to a pulsating

load (0 to maximum) yield a value of endurance limit t/ =

60,000 pounds per square inch, while torsion tests show a yield

rmin./Tmax.

point in torsion of 120,000 pounds per square inch. Further the

spring is under a fatigue stress range from t,i to rwx where

Tmin .^tmax (both stresses being computed by using the factor

K).

To be on the safe side, full sensitivity of the material is as-

sumed (q=l). Since t/T,/ = 2, the chart of Fig. 73 applies.

From this chart for an index c=3, C, = 1.53 when tmin/tmax -^>-

Thus, on this basis fatigue failure may be expected at tmax Cw

7v'=1.53 X 60,000 = 92,000 pounds per square inch (Equation

119). Assuming a factor of safety N l.5, the working stress

would be, from Equation 121, tk = CT//N=92,000/1.5-=

61,000 pounds per square inch (the stress being figured by using

the factor K). If the spring index were 10 instead of 3, the fac-

tor Cw would be 1.39, Fig. 73, and the working stress rw

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1.39 X 60,000/1.5 = 56,000 pounds per square inch, assuming

factor of safety N=1.5.

To show the effect of a reduction in the sensitivity index q,

endurance tests on springs of considerably smaller index in this

particular wire size may be assumed to show a value of q ^k.

128

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Then using the chart of Fig. 76 (t/2>' = 2, q = Vz) C=1.65

for c=3 and tm(n/tmax = %. In this case, the allowable working

stress, using a factor of safety N=1.5, would be tw = Cw tc'/N=

1.65 X 60,000/1.5= 66,000 pounds per square inch.

Limitations of MethodA fundamental limitation in the

design method previously discussed for springs under variable

loading lies in the assumption that the stress concentration

factor Kc may be neglected in figuring the static component of

the stress, even for springs under fatigue loading. As brought

out in Chapter V, where the load is purely static, this appears

reasonable; however, further tests will be required to establish

the validity of this assumption when applied to combinations

of static and variable stress. The alternative method discussed

in the following section (Page 131) does not, however, involve

this limitation.

A further limitation of the method is the assumption of a

linear relation between the static and variable stress components

necessary to cause fatigue failure, i.e., a straight line PA in Fig.

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71 is assumed to be the actual limiting curve. Usually the ex-

perimental results will be somewhat above this line as indi-

cated. Hence, if the value of the zero to maximum endurance

limit re is determined by actual tests on a spring of large index

and having the wire size under consideration, it appears that

if the line PA is used as a basis, the calculated results will be on

the safe side. In this connection it is necessary to determine

the value of t/ by tests on the actual wire size used, since the

endurance values may change considerably between small and

larger sizes.

It has also been assumed that the line of failure PA tends

to approach the yield point in torsion. In many cases it will

be found that this line approaches the ultimate strength in tor-

sion'0. In such cases the latter could be user1 instead of t in ap-

plying the charts and formulas. If this is done, however, a

higher factor of safety should be used than otherwise.

In deriving the formulas for Cv, it has been assumed that

the endurance properties of the material do not change between

springs of small and large index assuming a given wire size. Al-

though this appears to be a reasonable assumption, there are

'"University of Michigan Engineering Research Bulletin No. 26 mentioned previously,

Page 86, discusses this further.

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS

129

cases where it may not be strictly true. For example, in cold-

wound springs of a given wire size, springs coiled to smaller

diameters will be subjected to the greatest amount of cold work-

ing, and hence such springs may possess somewhat different

endurance properties than would otherwise be expected. If a

stress-relieving treatment is given, this difference may be slight.

A similar result may be expected where springs are quenched

after coiling, since the effect of the heat treatment may be dif-

ferent for springs of different indexes. The shot-blast treatment

frequently given springs (Chapter IV) will probably also intro-

duce variations in the sensitivity index.

It is common practice, in the manufacture of compression

springs, to compress the spring solid, thus giving it a permanent

set. The effect of this is to introduce residual stresses of op-

2.4r

posite sign so that when the spring is under the working load,

the peak stress will be reduced by the amount of such residual

stresses. For this reason the tendency will be for the fatigue

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strength to be increased because of the presence of these stresses.

Because of the sharper curvature of the springs having smaller

130

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

indexes, it will be easier to introduce such residual stresses in

these springs. Thus it may happen that the fatigue strength

of the springs of smaller index may be increased by such treat-

ment to a relatively greater extent than is the case, for springs

of large index.

In the present analysis the effects of eccentricity of loading

due to the end coils have been neglected. These effects may in-

crease the maximum stress from 4 to 30 per cent, depending on

the shape and form of the end turns, and on the total number of

turns. Further discussion of this will be given in Chapter VIII.

COMPARISON OF THEORETICAL AND TEST RESULTS

To the author's knowledge the most comprehensive series

of tests yet made to check the effect .of spring index on endur-

ance strength of helical springs were those carried out by

Zimmerli". He made a series of tests on springs of .148-inch

diameter pretempered Swedish valve-spring wire, having in-

dexes c varying from 3.5 to 12. It will be of interest to compare

these test results with those obtained by the application of the

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charts of Figs. 72, 73 and 74 which assume full sensitivity to

stress concentration (</ = l). Values of the minimum and maxi-

mum points (rmin and tmaJ-) of the limiting stress ranges as found

by Zimmerli for the various indexes are given in the second and

third columns of Table XII.

To determine the zero to maximum endurance limit j>',

for a spring of large index, the test results for c=11.9 are used

as a basis taking tmin 19,000 pounds per square inch, tmax

91,000 pounds per square inch, and rmi/tm(U=.21. Assuming

tentatively i>/iy' = 1.5, from Equation 119, rmuLll t' for

t,,/t ,= .21. Solving, r,'=91,000/1.1 -=82,700 pounds per

square inch. Since the yield point in torsion for the material will

be around 120,000 pounds per square inch (or somewhat above

the elastic limit in torsion), it may be assumed that t/t'=1.5

with sufficient accuracy allowing the use of Fig. 72. Using the

value of C- thus found and assuming the minimum values of

the stress range t,(ft as given, the limiting values of maximum

stress tmas were computed using the chart of Fig. 72 and Equa-

tion 119. The computed values of tmax thus obtained are given

"Transaction) A.S.M.E., January, 1938, Vas? 43.

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS 131

in the fifth column of Table XII. For comparison, values of the

limiting stress range rmaxrmiH as found by test and as deter-

mined by calculation are given in the last two columns.

Comparison of the figures in these last two columns indi-

cates that the test and calculated values of limiting stress range

differ by only a few per cent. This offers some indication that

Table XII

Theoretical and Test Values of Limiting Stresses

-Limiting Stresses- Limiting Range in Stress

Spring from Fatigue Tests9 Calculated tmoxtmin

Index tm i n tm' tm l n tinnx By test Calculated

C (lb./sq.in.) (Ib./sq.in.) (lb./sq.in.) (lb./sq.in.) (lb./sq.in.) Ob./sq.in.)

3.5 14,000 100,000 14,000 95,500 86.000 81,500

4.55 19,000 94,000 19,000 96,000 75,000 77,000

7.0 19,000 93,000 19,000 93,500 74,000 74,500

9.1 19,000 90,000 19,000 92,000 71,000 73,000

11.9 19,000 91,000 19,000 91,000 72,000 72,000

These stresses figured using the curvature correction factor K.

the method of determining working stress, using Equation 118

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which assumes full sensitivity to stress concentration (<7 = 1),

will give results in fair agreement with actual fatigue tests, at

least for some materials and wire sizes.

Tests by Edgerton mentioned previously were made on

two groups of springs coiled from %-inch diameter bar stock, one

group of index 3 and the other of index 5. The endurance limits

calculated by the use of the conventional formula, Equation 4,

were practically the same for the two groups of springs, while

the endurance limits calculated by using the K factor differed

considerably. This would indicate that for these springs neither

the bar curvature nor the direct shear stress have any effect on

the endurance. This is in contrast to the previously discussed

tests by Zimmerli which do show that the wire curvature does

tend to reduce the endurance range even in small size springs.

It is clear that further test data will be required before definite

conclusions may be drawn.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF CALCULATION

The previously discussed method of evaluating working

stress in helical springs under variable loading is based on the

assumption that stress-concentration effects due to curvature

132

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

may be neglected in calculating the static component of the

stress. This is in line with the method proposed by Soderberg

(Page 17) for evaluating working stresses. An alternative, how-

ever, and possibly somewhat simpler method is the following:

Assuming the spring is operating between maximum and

minimum loads Pmax and P,,, then the range in load will be

i max Pmiif The range in torsion stress rr is then computed

from the range in load using the full curvature correction factor

K. (When further test data are available regarding sensitivity

indexes for various materials, the value of K may be reduced to

KsKI where Kt depends on the sensitivity index q and is given by

Equation 123. In the absence of actual test data or experience,

however, it is suggested that a sensitivity index q equal to unity

be used in design.)

Peak stress tmax is then calculated from the load Pmax using

the curvature correction factor K. If this peak stress is above the

torsional yield point, the latter value is taken as the maximum

stress of the range, since in nearly all cases localized yielding

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will limit the peak stress to this value. Then the actual limiting

stress range is taken as the test value with the peak stress equal

to the yield point in torsion. However, if the peak stress tmax is

below the torsional yield point, then the actual endurance range

with this value of tmax is taken as a basis. This may be found

from endurance diagrams of the type shown in Fig. 56 or from

data similar to that given in Table VII, Page 88.

Usually it will be found that, if the peak stress does not

exceed the yield point in torsion, there will not be much varia-

tion in the value of the endurance range for various peak stresses.

Hence for practical purposes, an approximate figure of limiting

range equal to the range with the peak stress equal to the yield

point may be taken as a conservative figure. The allowable stress

range, figured by using the factor K, would then be this limiting

endurance range divided by the factor of safety12.

In addition, to avoid excessive permanent set the stress at

the maximum load P,W, calculated by neglecting curvature cor-

rection as discussed in Chapter V, should not exceed the allow-

able value for static loading. This alternative method of de-

sign for variable loading appears to be promising and is some-

UA further discussion of this method was given in a paper on "Helical Spring

Design Stresses for a Standard Code" Transactions A.S.M.E., July 1942, Page 476.

FATIGUE LOADING OF HELICAL SPRINGS

133

what simpler than that discussed previously. Further test data,

however, would be desirable to differentiate between the two

methods. It is possible that either would be sufficiently good for

practical use.

ExampleAs an example of the use of this method: A car-

bon steel spring is 2 inches outside coil diameter, %-inch bar

diameter, and index of three, subject to continuous alternating

load between a maximum of 1700 pounds and a minimum of

1200 pounds. Using Equation 18 the stress at the peak load

calculated with curvature correction will be 82,000 pounds

per square inch. This is somewhat below the torsional yield

point. For a range in load of 17001200 = 500 pounds the

stress range will be 24,100 pounds per square inch. From

Table IX, Page 92, for a heat-treated, carbon-steel spring the

endurance range for zero to maximum load application with

a peak stress of 82,000 pounds per square inch, may be es-

timated as about 70,000 pounds per square inch. This gives

a factor of safety of 70,000/24,100 = 2.9 on the stress range

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At the peak load the stress figured without curvature correction,

Equation 89, is 61,000 pounds per square inch. Since the ex-

pected torsional yield point of this material should be about

110,000 pounds per square inch, Table VII Page 88, the factor

of safety with respect to yielding would be 110,000/61,000=1.8.

CHAPTER VII

PRACTICAL SELECTION AND DESIGN OF HELICAL

COMPRESSION SPRINGS

It is the primary purpose of this chapter to present data on

working stresses, as well as charts and tables, which may be

used by the designer to facilitate the practical selection of helical

springs for given applications. Although the methods of evaluat-

ing working stresses described in the preceding two chapters

provide a rational approach to the design problem, in many

cases the additional work involved by the use of these more

rational methods is not warranted. This is particularly true if

only a few springs of certain characteristics are required, for

example, to fit into a given mechanism, plenty of space being

available. In such cases the use of the spring tables given here

may be all that is necessary.

On the other hand, there may be cases when the proper

functioning of a certain spring is vital to the successful opera-

tion of a given machine while at the same time, the available

space is limited. In such case, a considerable amount of time

spent in studying the spring requirements on the basis of the

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methods of Chapters V and VI would probably be justified. Even

where these methods are used, however, the choice of the proper

spring is facilitated by the use of the charts and tables given in

this chapter.

WORKING STRESSES USED IN PRACTICE

To aid the designer in cases where a quick selection of

springs is necessary, a review of suggested working stress values,

obtained from various sources, is desirable1. In utilizing these

it should be remembered that for best results, a considerable

amount of judgment is required and for this reason in important

applications consultation with a spring manufacturer usually

will be advisable.

'Working stresses arc discussed further in author's article, Transactions A.S.M.E.,

1942, Page 476.

134

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 135

In Table XIII a tabulation of working stresses used as a

basis for helical spring design by Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg.

Co. is given. These working stress values, which should be used

primarily as a guide in spring selection, apply to springs made

of good quality steel, such as music or oil-tempered wire, hot-

wound springs, heat treated after forming. In most cases the

Table XIII

Working Stresses in Shear-Helical

Compression Springs of Steel"

Wire Diameter Severe Service Average Service Light Service

(in.) (th./sq.in.) (Ib./sq.in.) (lb./sq.in.)

Up to .085 60,000 75,000 93,000

.085 to .185 55.000 69,000 85,000

.186 to .320 48,000 60,000 74,000

.321 to .530 42,000 52,000 65,000

.531 to .970 36,000 45,000 56,000

.971 to 1.5 32.000 40,000 50,000

For springs of good-quality spring steel. All stresses based on the use of a curva-

ture correction factor. The table does not hold where corrosion effects or high tem-

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perature are present For phosphor bronze springs 50 per cent and for rust-resisting

steel 75 per cent of these values are used.

values of stresses listed in Table XIII will be found to be con-

servative and may often be increased after a careful study of

spring requirements.

To facilitate spring selection based on the stresses listed

in Table XIII the tables on Pages 138 to 149 are given.

From Table XIII it may be seen that lower stresses are used

for the larger wire sizes and for severe service in accordance

with practical experience. The classification of particular ap-

plications as severe, average, or light service depends to a con-

siderable extent on the judgment of the designer. In general,

however, springs subject to continuous fatigue stressing in pul-

sating load application, where the ratio of minimum to maxi-

mum stress is one-half or less, as in valve springs, for example,

would be considered severe service. On the other hand, a spring

subject to but a few applications of load during its life or to prac-

tically a constant load at normal temperature would be light

service.

For ordnance applications where space is at a premium,

much higher working stresses are suggested by the S.A.E. War

Engineering Board Spring Committee (Manual on "Design and

Application of Helical and Spiral Springs for Ordnance"). Sug-

gested values of working stress in compression springs of music

13d

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

wire range from 190,000 for .015-diameter to 140,000 for .15-

diameter wire with considerable lower values for tension springs.

For carbon-steel compression springs, hot wound and heat

treated after coiling, suggested values of stress vary from 116,-

000 for %-inch diameter to 80,000 for 1-inch diameter bar. These

Table XIV

Allowable Stresses for Helical Springs

Maximum Working Maximum Solid

Material Stress, Stress,

(lb./sq.in.) (lb./sq.in.)

Music wire 70,000 120,000

Oil-tempered wire 60,000 100,000

Hard-drawn spring wire 50,000 80,000

Stainless steel (18-8) 50,000 80.000

Monel metal 35,000 70,000

Phosphor bronze 35,000 70,000

Brass 25,000 50,000

stresses are calculated without curvature correction and apply tc

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indexes from 4 to 9. Use of these stresses assumes that cold setting

and shot blasting operations are used to obtain maximum strength.

Such high stress values should not be used where long life or

fatigue endurance is required.

As another example of working stresses used in practice,

the values listed in Table XIV are suggested in a pamphlet

published by Barnes-Gibson-Raymond Division of Associated

Spring Corp. These values refer to maximum working stress

and to maximum solid stress. Where possible it is further sug-

gested the stress range in the spring be limited to % to 2/3 the

maximum working stress.

The American Steel & Wire Company in their Manual of

Spring Engineering suggest for springs of plain carbon steels

Table XV

Recommended Maximum Torsional Design Stresses for Helical

Compression Springs Under Average Service Conditions*

(Plain Carbon Steels)

Wire diameter

Music Wire

Tempered Steel

Hard-Drawn Steel

(in.)

(lb./sq in.)

(lb./sq.in.)

(lb./sq.in.)

.020 to .030

100,000

100,000

90,000

.031 to .092 .

90.000

100,000

80,000

.093 to .176

90,000

90.000

80,000

.177 to .282 . .

90,000

70,000

.283 to .436 . .

85,000

.437 to .624

80,000

Cold wound for OD > "3 inches

.437 to .624

90,000

Hot wound for OD < 3 inches

.625 to .874 . .

90,000 I

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 137

under average service conditions values of maximum design

stress as given in Table XV.

For helical springs of other spring materials, safe working

stresses in torsion are suggested by this company as follows:

Material (Pounds Per Square Inch)

Stainless steel '80,000

Phosphor bronze 50,000

Monel metal 50.000

Brass 40,000

It should be noted that these suggested stresses and those

in Table XV are for average service conditions defined as non-

corrosive atmosphere, normal temperatures, and with slowly

varying or static loads. In individual cases, where fatigue or

other conditions are present, lower values of stress will be re-

quired, while in still other cases higher values may be possible.

SPRING TABLES

To facilitate the selection of springs for a given purpose,

spring tables have been computed, based on the stresses of

Table XIII for severe service. Table XVI applies to carbon-

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steel springs of good quality such as music or oil-tempered wire,

or hot-wound helical springs. The allowable loads P are based

on the stresses indicated while the deflections per turn y were

determined from these loads using a modulus of rigidity of

11.4 X 10 pounds per square inch. This latter value applies to

most carbon steels with sufficient accuracy. The total deflection

of the spring will of course be equal to the deflection y per

turn multiplied by the number of active turns. For a different

value of the shear modulus G the deflections given in the table

should be multiplied by 11.4X108/G. For working stresses other

than those listed, values of loads and deflections may be taken

proportional to the stress.

In Tables XVII and XVIII similar tabulations are given for

stainless steel and phosphor bronze helical compression springs.

Table XVII for stainless steel springs is based on stresses equal

to 75 per cent of those of Table XVI while Table XVIII for

phosphor bronze springs is based on stresses equal to 50 per

cent of those for carbon steel. The shear modulus used in com-

(Continued on Page 152)

Table

Load P and Deflection per I urn y for Carbon

Severe

- Outside Diameter

At 60.000 lb. per square inch

Wire

Diam.

'A

H_

014

493

0123

0209

334

0319

.252

0606

203

0990

169

146

.016

.726

0100

. 588

0174

494

0266

.375

.0514

. 302

0838

253

126

.217

.174

018

1 03

00840

836

0147

700

0227

534

0445

.428

.0730

360

.310

153

271

203

no

. 020

1 39

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398

XVI

Steel, Round Wire, Helical Springs!

Service*

of Spring (in.)

H1

1H

IK

1H

1H

IK

1H

Wire

[Ham.

.014

.016

.018

.020

.022

.024

.026

028

030

869

348

032

1 04

906

442.

.034

.036

.038

.325

1 24

1 08

305

.406

1 46

287

1.27

.382

1.14

.490

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140

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table XVI

I.o'kI P and Deflection per turn y for Carbon

Severr

Outside Diameter

At 55.000 lb. per square ineh

Dlam.

"4

VH

IK

1H

\H

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086

3".. 7

.00532

31 6

00981

-iv, \

21 1

0229

20 '6

0413

17 4

0652

15.0

0945

13.2

.130

118

10.7

216

9 72

.267

8.95

325

8 26

387

.0157

.170

.090

/-

38 9

mi 17 1

34 6

00879

30.8

0143

27 6

0210

22 u

0384

19.2

.0610

16 6

0889

14 6

1 22

13.1

160

118

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 141

(G)iilinucd)

Sleel, Round Wire, Helical Springsf

Service *

of Spring (in.)

1H'

IK

2H

2'<

3H

5H

Win-

Dii. 1t>.

7 70

156

528

6 76

.608

mi

.086

.782

8 52

432

7 96

501

7.47

.575

6 66

742

h (III

090

.930

9 26

123

8 66

491

8.13

565

7.25

.728

,. 53

.911

091.-,

12 8

11.9

432

U.J

498

10 0

9 02

11 21)

i'

in;

372

.642

.808

.987

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7 19

1-42

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table

l/oud P and Deflection per turn y for Stainless

Severe

Outside Diameter

At 45.000 lb. per square inch

Wire

Dtam.

yt

"4

.014

.369

.0100

.299

.0170

251

.0260

.189

0494

.152

.0805

.127

.119

.015

.452

.00901

.370

.0155

.311

0238

.233

.0456

.187

.0742

.156

.110

.134

.152

.0162

.565

00801

.459

0139

.388

0213

.292

.0412

. 237

.0674

.196

.100

.169

.140

.0173

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SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS

XVII

Steel, Round Wire, Helical Springsf

Service*

of Spring (in.)

IK

1H

1H

i';

1H

Wire

Diam.

.014

.0162

.0173

.0181

.0204

.0230

.0258

.0286

652

283

.032

851

.748

341

.035

256

1 10

234

.952

.311

.853

.399

.038

1 28

221

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.015

141

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Tabic XVII

Load P and Deflection per turn _v for Stainless

Svere

- Outside Diameter

At 41,250 lb. per square ineh

ir.

Dlam.

'A

1H

IK

1H

IH

II91

/'

31 6

00371

28 1

00697

25.0

0112

22.4

0167

in i

15.6

.0484

13 6

0708

119

0969

10 6

.128

9 68

. 163

8.78

.202

8 10

.245

7 47

293

0304

.106

II 1

37 5

00822

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1H

31O

28 1

0237

23 9

.0384

20 II

0570

IK I

16 4

105

118

13 (.

.168

12 5

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 145

[Continued)

Steel, Round Wire, Helical Springsf

Service*

if Spring (in.)

i<. VH

2H

2H

3H

'5

5H

Wire

Diuni.

6 94

.344

6.50

460

5 44

.593

4 90

.742

0915

too

10 7

287

10 0

9 45

386

8.40

498

7 58

628

6 90

.769

6 35

.928

.106

.335

IS 9

.244

14 9

286

14 0

12 4

427

11 2

10.3

662

9 45

.800

.121

329

539

.212

ii

20 7

249

19 1

17 2

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6 10

146

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table

Load P and Deflection per turn y for Phosphor

t Sever*

Outside Diameter

At 30,000 lb. per aquare inch

Wire

Dlam.

HA

* 1 * 1 f*

.0142

.0159

0179

. 255

.0114

.0196

.174

.0297

132

0568

.106

.0921

0887

. 137

.357

.00968

.290

.0167

.243

.0257

.184

0492

.148

0810

.124

.120

107

.167

.504

.00805

.410

.0141

.346

.0220

.262

0426

211

. 0702

. 177

.105

152

.146

133

. 194

.0201

.0226

702

.00662

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.208

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 147

XVIII

Bronze, Round Wire, Helical Springsf

Service*

f Spring (in.)

1 V.

1H

l'y.

IX

!2

^ ire

DUm.

.0142

.0159

.0179

.0201

p-

.0226

.0254

.0285

.032

134

Ml

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S18~

293

.541

386

036

~I4I~

257

.741

.342

.660

.440

.040

1.21

224

1 05

298

.938

.384

,84'i

.48!

.773

148

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Tabic XVIII

Load /' and Deflection per turn y for Phosphoi

S<'> rr

Outside l>iItmrtn

At 27,500 lb. |mt square inch

Wire I

Dinm.

1*8

1H

\H

1H

.091

20 7

00439

II! 1

00819

16 4

14 8

1)196

12 2

0361

10 2

0568

8 90

0833

7 86

7 112

.151

6 32

192

5.76

.237

5 28

.287

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1H

4 <H

>

0133

.115

. 344

.102

24.7

00620

22 6

0104

II. 8

113

0480

12.4

0706

11 0

9 80

129

II IIi

165

8 10

7.45

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS

(Continued)

Bronze, Round Wire, Helical Springsf

Service*

of Spring (in.)

IN

IK

2K

2'i

3M

4X

5H

\\ ir.-

I>ium.

I 4 56

4 26

468

3 99

539

3 56

697

3 20

870

.091

6 40

5 95

.405

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404

.-> 60

5 00

.610

4 51

768

4.10

938

3 78

1.13

/'

.102

353

.474

8 90

8 31

7 82

413

7 00

6 28

.672

5.74

.828

5.26

.998

III

307

.358

.538

12 9

264

12.0

307

11 .3

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152

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

pitting Table XVII for stainless steel was 10.5 X 10" while that

used in calculating Table XVIII for phosphor bronze springs

was 6 X 10" pounds per square inch. For other values of

modulus G, the deflections per turn given in Table XVII should

be multiplied by 10.5 X lO'/G, those in Table XVIII by

6 X 10' / G. For average or light service these loads and deflec-

tions may be increased in proportion to working stress (see

Tables XIII and XV).

As an example of the use of the spring tables: A steel com-

pression spring is required for a mechanism to give 160 pounds at

a deflection of .8-inch. The space available is such that an out-

side diameter of 2 inches may be used. If the spring is subject to

severe service, from Table XVI for .263-inch wire diameter and

2 inch outside diameter the allowable load is 161 pounds and the

allowable deflection per turn .124-inch. To obtain .8-inch deflec-

tion would require .8/. 124 = 6.45, say &k, active turns or about

8 to 8*2 total turns (Chapter VIII discusses evaluation of end

turns). This would take a spring of about 1.1(8.5) (.263 ) 4-

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.8 = 3.26 inches free length, allowing 10 per cent extra length for

space between the turns when the spring is compressed at a load

of 160 pounds. The length at a load of 160 pounds would be 2.46

inches, and the solid length about 10 per cent less or about 2.2

inches. The stress at the solid length would be about 10 per cent

above the stress on which the table is based or 52,800 pounds

per square inch, a relatively low stress. A further discussion of

allowable values for maximum stress when the spring is com-

pressed solid will be given in Chapter VIII.

DESIGN CHARTS

Two useful design charts1, prepared with the curvature

correction factor included, are shown on Figs. 78 and 79. For

convenience, these charts are based on a value of 100,000

pounds per square inch working stress and a torsional modulus

G = 11.5 X 10" pounds per square inch. It should be empha-

sized that this value of stress is used mainly for convenience

and is not necessarily the recommended working stress. The

These charts were published by Wallace Barnes Co. in The Mainspring for June

and August, 1940, and are reproduced through the courtesy of this company.

SELECTION OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS 153

chart of Fig. 78 covers the range in load between one and

100 pounds, that of Fig. 79, between 100 and 10,000 pounds.

In these charts the ordinates represent load at 100,000

pounds per square inch torsion stress, the abscissas, inches de-

flection per pound of load per active coil. Thus the abscissa,

when multiplied by number of active turns will yield the recip-

rocal of the spring constant in pounds per inch. The set of lines

inclined at about 15 degrees to the horizontal in these charts

represents wire diameters, while the set inclined at about 30

degrees represents outside coil diameters. The intersection of

any line of one set with that of the other set fixes the load at

100,000 pounds per square inch stress and the deflection per

pound of load per active turn. Thus, for example, if the wire

size is .04-inch and the outside coil diameter '/i-inch, the load

at 100,000 pounds per square inch stress will be 9.3 pounds and

the deflection per pound of load per turn will be .0025-inch. If

there are 10 active turns the spring constant will be 1/.025 =40

pounds per inch. The load at any other stress t different from

100,000 pounds per square inch will be in direct ratio to the

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stress; thus for an allowable stress of 60,000 pounds per square

inch the load in the above example becomes 9.3 ( 60,000/100,000)

= 5.58 pounds.

If the load and working stress are known the required spring

size may easily be read from the charts of Figs. 78 and 79. Thus,

assuming a working stress of 60,000 pounds per square inch is

to be used with a working load of 30 pounds, the working load

at 100,000 pounds per square inch will be direct ratio to the

stress or 30 (100,000/60,000) = 50 pounds. From the chart it is

seen that a wide variety of sizes will yield this value of load.

For example, a wire size of .100-inch and an outside coil diam-

eter of %-inch will come close to it. In this size the spring will

have a deflection of about .002-inch per pound of load per active

turn or .06-inch per turn at 30 pound load, assuming a steel

spring with G = 11.5 X 10" pounds per square inch. If, say,

Vi-inch deflection is required at 30 pounds load the number of

active coils required would be .25/.06 or slightly more than four.

If the actual modulus G is different from 11.5 X 10" pounds per

square inch a correction in deflection may be made to take this

into account by multiplying the deflection by 11.5X10VG.

(Continued on Page 156)

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J of Load per Active Coil Courtesy, Wallace Barnes Co.

lartic2ty = 11,500,000 lb per sq in.)

sion springs (Load Range 100 to 10,000 pounds)

158

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

On the charts of Figs. 78 and 79 a series of dashed lines at

about 70 degrees to the horizontal are shown. These represent

deformation ratio, defined as the ratio of the deflection at

100,000 pounds per square inch stress to the net solid height of

the active coils in the spring. It is clear that springs with a large

deformation ratio will have a large deflection compared to the

solid height and vice versa. Thus a spring of .100-inch wire and

an outside coil diameter of %-inch (as used in the previous ex-

ample) will have a deformation ratio of almost 100 per cent at

100,000 pounds per square inch, Fig. 79. This means that the

deflection at 100,000 pounds per square inch stress will be about

equal to the solid height. At 60,000 pounds per square inch the

deformation ratio will be about 60 per cent.

It should be noted that there will always be a small in-

accuracy in reading these design charts. This error should not,

however, exceed 3 per cent and will usually be within 2 per cent.

In this connection, it should be noted that because of manufac-

turing tolerances, variations in wire size, and in coil diameter,

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the actual deviation between test and calculated results will

usually be more than 2 per cent, unless special precautions in

manufacturing have been taken. For a further discussion of this,

Chapter VIII considers these variables. This means that the charts

of Figs. 78 and 79 should be sufficiently accurate for most prac-

tical purposes. However, in cases where maximum accuracy is

desired, calculation may be made using Equations 7 and 18, or

Tables XVI, XVII or XVIII may be used.

CHAPTER VIII

OTHER DESIGN CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL

COMPRESSION SPRINGS

Some of the various considerations, other than working

stress, which are important in designing helical compression

springs will be briefly discussed in this chapter. These include

types of end turns, allowances for end coils, effects of eccentric-

ity of loading, effects of variation in spring dimensions, variation

in modulus of rigidity, stress at solid compression. The effect

of combined axial and lateral loading together with buckling

problems will be discussed in the following chapter.

EFFECTS DUE TO END TURNS

Usual types of end turns employed in helical compression

springs are shown in Fig. 80. The most common typeends set

up and ground or forged, indicated in Fig. 80ahas the advan-

tage that there is less eccentricity of loading (and hence a lower

stress for a given load) than would be the case where the ends

are made as indicated in Fig. 80fo, c or d. In Fig. 806 the ends

are simply squared and closed, while in Fig. 80c, the ends are

left plain without any grinding. This type of spring would give

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the highest amount of eccentricity of loading. The spring of

Fig. 80d is the same as that at c except that the ends have been

ground so that at least V2 turn at each end is flat. In Fig. 80e, a

spring with 2'^ turns set up is shown.

An accurate determination of deflection in helical compres-

sion springs requires that the effect of the end turns be esti-

mated with reasonable accuracy. Some experimental and an-

alytical work by Vogt1 indicates that for the usual design of end

coil with ends squared and ground, Fig. 80a, the number of active

coils is equal to the number of completely free coils plus %.

(The number of free coils in this case is determined by the

number of turns between tip contact points.) Thus if a com-

'"Number of Active Coils in Helical Springs", Transactions A.S.M.E., June, 1934,

Page 468.

157

158

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

pression spring has 10 free coils and 12 total coils (tip to tip of

bar) then on this basis the number of active coils would be 10J/2,

and % of a turn would be inactive at each end. However, when

the load is increased, there is some progressive seating of the

end turns so that the number of completely free coils decreases

with the load, and this increases the number of inactive turns.

Pletta, Smith, and Harrison2 made a series of careful tests

on commercial springs using a special setup to determine the

end-turn effect. The results of these tests indicate that at zero

load the number of active turns was equal to n' -f- % where n'

is the number of completely free coils at zero load. As the load

increases, however, the number of inactive coils was found to

increase, due to seating of the end coils, the amount of increase

varying from .5 to one turn at usual working loads, with an

average of about .7-turn. Since for calculation purposes the

average number of active turns in the range from no load to

working load is of primary interest (this would be used in the

deflection formula), it appears reasonable to subtract about half

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of this decrease from the number of active turns. This gives a

figure for average active turns varying from n' to n' + Vt. Be-

cause the total number of turns is n' + 2 for the usual type of

end turn. Fig. 80a, this means that the inactive turns found in

these tests varied from about 1% to 2 with an average of 1.85.

An analysis made by H. C. Keysor3 indicates that the total

number of inactive coils in the spring is approximately equal to

1.2 as a deduction from "solid turns" based on the commonly

used practice of taking the number of "solid turns" equal to the

solid height divided by bar or wire diameter. Since for the usual

shape of end coil, Fig. 80a, the "solid turns" are equal to the

"total turns" measured from tip to tip of bar, minus V-i turn,

this figure of 1.2 would be equivalent to a deduction of 1.7 turn

from "total turns".

Some additional data on inactive turns was given by

Edgerton4 based on the research of the Special Research Com-

mittee for Mechanical Springs of A.S.M.E. The average value

obtained by Edgerton was 1.15 as a deduction from "solid turns"

2"The Effect of Overstrain on Closely Coiled Helical Springs and the Variation

of the Number of Active Coils with Load", Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Engineering

Experimental Station Bulletin No. 24.

""Calculation of the Elastic Curve of a Helical Compression Spring"H. C. Keysor,

Transactions A.S.M.E., May, 1940, Page 319.

'Discussed in Machine Desigx, December, 1939, Page 53.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL SPRINGS 159

or 1.65 as a deduction from total turns.

Taking the results of these investigations as a basis, it ap-

pears that for the usual design of end coil the number of in-

active coils may vary from about 1.65 to 2 considered as a deduc-

tion from total turns. Probably a mean value of P/i inactive coils

would be as good a figure as any to use in practice. For the

higher loads possibly a figure somewhat higher may be justified,

while a lower figure may be used for lower loads. The seating

of the coils as the load increases also tends to produce a slight

curvature of the load-deflection diagram. For further details,

the reader is referred to the investigation by Pletta and his

associates2.

The preceding discussion has been concerned only with the

usual type of end turn. Test results concerning the other types

(a) SQUARED AND GROUND OR FORCED (b) SQUARED OR CLOSED ENDS

ENDS (USUAL TYPE) NOT GROUND

(C) PLAIN ENDS (d) PLAIN ENDS GROUND

(e) Z \ TURNS SET UP

Fig. 80Types of end turns as used in helical compression springs

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of end coils shown in Fig. 80 are lacking, but approximate values

of inactive coils are as follows: For plain ends, Fig. 80c, active

turns are nwhere n-total turns; for plain ends ground,

Fig. 80d, active turns are n 1. // 2% turns at each end are set

up and ground as in Fig. 80e the active turns may be taken

roughly as n 5.

ECCENTRICITY OF LOADING

If a compression spring of usual design is compressed be-

tween two parallel plates as in a testing machine (Fig. 23), it

will be found that in general the resultant load is displaced from

the spring axis by a small amount e as indicated in this figure.

160

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The effect of this eccentric loading is to increase the stress on

one side of the spring diameter and decrease it on the other

as indicated, for example, by the load-stress diagram of Fig. 49

which shows a higher stress on one side of the spring than on

the other.

An analysis of the effect of this eccentricity of loading based

on certain assumptions has also been carried out by Keysor\

Because of the complexity of the analysis, it will not be given

here. However, the final results of the analysis are given in the

curve of Fig. 81, the ordinates representing ratio e/r between

eccentricity e and coil radius r and the abscissas being the num-

ber of turns n' between tip contact points. The total number of

turns n for the usual design will be equal to n' + 2. It is seen

that the eccentricity ratio fluctuates between zero and maxi-

mum values, the zero values occuring approximately at n' =

%, 1V6, 2% . . . . etc. Theoretically it should be possible to get

axial loading (i.e., zero eccentricity) by choosing n' to conform

with these values. However, because of variations in actual

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springs and possibly also because of errors in the assumptions

made, axial loading cannot in general be realized in practice'.

For practical design, therefore, the envelope of the curve as in-

dicated in Fig. 81 should be employed.

For calculating the ratio e/r the following expressions given

by Keysor may be used:

e =1.123(2-1) (128)

, .5043 .1213 2.058

z.u n + -N;-<- n> - (129)

where N = number of solid coils. This will be approximately

\Vz turns greater than the number of coils n' between tip contact

points, i.e., N ri + 1.5. By using these equations the ratio

e/r may be calculated. As an approximation it may be assumed

that where the spring index is fairly large the stress will be in-

creased in the ratio 1 + e/r as compared with the stress for

purely axial loading.

Some tests have been made by the writer which give a

rough check on this formula. These were carried out in con-

This is borne out also by experiments made by Pletta and Maher"Helix Warping

in Helical Compression Springs", Transactions A.S.M.E., May 1940, Page 327.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL SPRINGS 161

nection with an application where it was desired to obtain as

nearly as possible a central load on a helical compression spring.

The tests were made on small helical springs using a special

three-point loading fixture so arranged that the eccentricity of

loading could be determined. Essentially this consisted of a flat

plate with provision for attaching dead weights 120 degrees

apart on equal radii. When equal loads were applied at equal

0.40

Q30

0.20

QI0

30

as

0 05 1.0 15 2.0 2.5

n' -NUMBER OF TURNS BETWEEN TIP CONTACT POINTS

Fig. 81Ratio e/r between eccentricity and coil radius as a funtion of n'

based on analysis by Keysor

radii, in general it was found that the loading planes at each

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end of the spring were not parallel. The loads were then ad-

justed to give parallelism of these loading planes; from the

magnitude of the required loads the eccentricity of loading could

be calculated.

The results of these tests are summarized in Table XIX,

the spring outside diameter, wire diameter, number of turns n',

and load being given. Springs tested had ground end coils of

the usual form. In the last column the values of the ratio e/r

between eccentricity and coil radius as calculated from Equa-

tions 128 and 129 are given. For comparison the test values of

e/r as measured on these various springs are also given in the

next to the last column.

It will be seen that in most cases the agreement between

calculated and test values is sufficiently good for practical use,

especially if it is considered that the test springs were hand made

and no particular care was taken in forming the end turns.

162

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table XIX

Tests To Determine Eccentricity of

Loading in Helical Springs

Load Eccentricity _ e

Turns

Coil Radius

Spring

Outside

Wire

Between Tip

Total

Calcu-

No.

Diameter

Diameter

Contact Points

Load

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Test

lated

(in.)

(in.)

H'

(lb.)

2%

.177

34

.12

.12

2%

.177

34

.04

.12

2%

.177

4U

31

.09

.11

r-.

.177

1',

29

.14

.11

2-i

.177

38

.19o

.23

2*i

.177

38

.13

.19 av.

.23

OTHER CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL SPRINGS 163

this manner the load-deflection characteristic may be brought

back to the design value. If springs are to be held to relatively

close tolerance, it is well to allow some leeway on the coil diam-

eter or on the total number of turns, since otherwise the cost

may be excessive.

Manufacturing TolerancesIn winding springs cold, there

is always some "spring back". In other words, the inside diam-

Table XX

Allowable Variations in Commercial Spring Wire Sizes

A.S.T.M.

Specification

Material (No.)

Wire

Permissible

Diameter

Variation

(in.)

(in.)

.028 to .072

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.001

.073 to .375

.002

.376 and over

.003

.026 and under

.0003

.027 to .063

.0005

.064 and over

.001

.093 to .148

+ .001

.149 to .177

.0015

.178 to .250

.002

Hard-drawn spring wire A-227-39T \ i

Chrome-vanadium spring wire . . A-229-39T > <

Oil-tempered wire A-231-39T I (

Music wire A-228-39T |

Carbon-steel valve-spring wire .... A-230-39T ^ i

Chrome-vanadium valve-spring wire A-232-39T / I

eter of the spring after winding will be slightly greater than the

diameter of the mandrel as a consequence of the elastic and

plastic properties of the material. Although this effect may be

compensated for by using a slightly smaller mandrel, for differ-

ent materials it may be expected that some variations in coil

diameter will still remain.

As an example of actual variations in coil diameters to be

expected in practice, the tolerances given by one spring manu-

facturer" are listed in Table XXI. It may be seen that these

tolerances depend both on the spring index D/d and on the

mean diameter D.

DeflectionThe effect of small variations in coil diameter

and wire diameter may be estimated quantitatively as follows:

The ordinary deflection formula for helical springs (Equation 7)

is

64 PrVi

5=-

Gd<

In this formula r and d are the nominal mean coil radius

and wire diameter, respectively. Supposing that the true mean

^Manual of Spring Engineering published American Steel and Wire Co., Page 97.

lfi-4

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

coil radius and wire diameter are r=r(l + ) and d=d(l-f A)

where e and A are small quantities, relative to unity, the true de-

flection then becomes

64Pr>(l+c)'n

Since it has been assumed that e and A are small relative to

unity, the squares and higher powers may be neglected. Hence

this equation may be written with sufficient accuracy (since

(l + e)n~l + 3e andl/(l + A),srl4A):

64Pr3n

8. (1+3.-4X) (130)

(ja,

It is seen that the true deflection S1 is merely the nominal

deflection 8 multiplied by a term l + 3e4a which depends on e

and A. Supposing now that the actual mean coil diameter or

radius is one per cent greater than the nominal, i.e., e=.01,

while at the same time the true wire diameter is one per cent

less than the nominal or A=.01. Putting these values of c

and A in Equation 130,

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, 64Pr>n

In other words, under such conditions with a one per cent

cumulative variation in coil and wire diameter from the nominal

values the actual deflection will be 1.07 times the nominal de-

flection or 7 per cent greater.

ExampleAs a practical example, an actual case examined

by the author will be discussed. This spring was made of

nominal 9/16-inch wire or d=.5625 inch. After cutting up the

spring and measuring the dimensions, it was found that the

average wire diameter was .551-inch which would correspond

to an error in the wire size of (.5625.551)/.5625 = 2.04 per

cent, i.e., A=.02. Assuming the true mean coil diameter of this

spring were equal to the nominal, i.e., that c = 0, then from

Equation 130, the true deflection 8t would be 14A=1.08 times

the calculated value. The actual coil diameter, however, had

been made about 2 per cent less than the nominal, which meant

that e was .02 Using this value in Equation 130 the true de-

flection becomes 1.02 times the nominal deflection. Thus, the

OTHER CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL SPRINGS 165

actual coil diameter had been made slightly smaller than the

nominal value by the spring maker to compensate for the de-

creased diameter of the wire used.

In a similar manner it may be shown that one per cent vari-

ation in the wire diameter means approximately a 3 per cent

variation in the stress; a one per cent change in the coil diameter,

a one per cent change in stress. Usually, the stress does not have

Table XXI

Tolerances on Spring Coil Diameters *

(Close Cold-Wound Helical Springs)

Mean Coil Diameter Variations in Diameter

D/d = 4 D/d = 8 D/d = 12

(in.) (in.) (in.) (in.)

's .003 .0035 005

to ft .0035 .005 .0065

ft to % 005 .0065 .0085

Vt to % .0065 .0085 .0105

% to V4 0085 .0105 .0130

to K 0105 .0130 .0155

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% to 1 0130 .0155 .0230

1 to l'i 0155 .0205 .0318

154 to 2 0185 .0313 .0408

2 to 3 030 .0430 .0528

3 to 4 .0550 .0730

4 to 5 .0725 .095

5 to 8 .125

6 to 7 .165

7 to 8 .210

'Data from American Steel & Wire Co.

to be held to such close limits as the deflection; however, a con-

sideration of the effect of commercial variations in wire size

on stress may be advisable for certain highly stressed springs.

EFFECT OF MODULUS OF RIGIDITY

An accurate calculation of the deflection of actual springs

requires not only that the effective turns be known, but also

that the modulus of rigidity of the spring material be known

with good accuracy. As indicated in the discussion of Chapter

IV the modulus values reported in the literature vary consider-

ably. In particular, the effect of a decarburized layer only a

few mils thick reduces the modulus by several per cent.

On the basis of the results given in Tables V and VI a good

average figure for modulus of rigidity for carbon and alloy steel*

is 11.5X10" pounds per square inch. However, for hot-wound,

166

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

carbon-steel springs of hot-rolled material in the larger sizes,

some manufacturers recommend a modulus figure of 10.5X10"

pounds per square inch. On the basis of the test data given in

Table XXII

Average Values for Modulus of Rigidity

Modulus of Rigidity

Material (lb./sq. in.)

Music wire 11.5 X 10"

Carbon steel 11.5X10"

Chrome-vanadium steels 11.5 X 10"

Hard-drawn stainless 10.5 X 10a

Monel metal 9 X 10"

Phosphor bronze 6 X 10"

Chapter IV the following average figures given in Table XXII

may be used for various spring materials. It should be noted,

however, that deviations of several per cent may occur.

STRESS AT SOLID COMPRESSION

In the design of compression springs it is desirable to choose

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the coil pitch such that when the spring is compressed solid, no

appreciable permanent set will occur. The reason for this is

that usually in operation the spring may at times be compressed

solid and, if under these conditions it takes a set, the load at

working deflections will be changed. Thus the spring will no

longer have its initial characteristics.

OverstressingIf a compression spring is initially wound

with a coil pitch sufficiently great so that the elastic limit of the

material is exceeded when the spring is compressed solid, the

distribution of stress along a diameter of the cross section is

shown in Fig. 82b for a spring of large index7. At low loads be-

fore the elastic limit is reached the distribution is approximate-

ly linear as shown in Fig. 82a. After the load is released, the

residual stress distribution will be like that in Fig. 82c.

For a spring of large index these residual stresses may be

calculated approximately from the condition that the moment

of the stress represented by the triangle obc about point o must

be equal to the moment of the stresses represented by the area

oadc. When normal load is again applied the resultant stress

7For a discussion of methods of calculation of loads for complete yielding, see

Chapter V, Page 102.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONSHELICAL SPRINGS 167

will be as indicated in Fig. 82d. It is clear that the maximum

stress at this load has been reduced by the overstressing, since

residual stresses of opposite sign are induced and these sub-

tract from the stresses due to the working load. However, in

this process of cold-setting or overstressing, the free length has

also been decreased. If the initial free length of the spring is made

greater than the specified free length by the proper amount,

the final free length may be held to the specified value. At the

same time, by means of this overstressing process, a higher cal-

culated stress at solid compression may be permissible.

It will be found that beyond a certain limit, there will be

no additional gain by using this process. In other words, be-

yond a certain initial free length, the final length after the set-

ting operation will be the same. The reason for this is that the

stress-strain curve tends to flatten out (Fig. 61) so that a higher

Fig. 82Distribution of stresses over cross

section of helical spring of large index; (a),

stress distribution of normal load before cold-

setting; (b) distribution above elastic limit; (c)

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residual stress after cold-setling with load re-

moved; (d) stress at normal load after setting

168

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table XXIII

Suggested Torsion Stresses at Solid Compression for

Helical Springso

Stress

at Solid Compres-

sion up to which

it is not necessary

to remove set

(lb./sq. in.)

Maximum Stress

at Solid Compression

with all set removed

Diameter

Material

(in.)

(lb./sq. in.)

Music Wire

up to .032

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.032 to .062

.062 to .125

.125 and over

130,000

110,000

100,000

90,000

180,000

170,000

160.000

150,000

Hard-drawn spring wire

up to .032

.032 to .062

.062 to .125

.125 and over

120,000

100,000

90.000

80.000

170,000

160.000

150,000

140,000

Oil-tempered wire

.125 and over

80,000

140,000

18-8 stainless hard drawn

up to .125

over.125

85,000

75,000

140,000

120,000

Phosphor bronze

General sizes

40,000

70,000

Curvature correction included.

strain does not give an appreciably greater torsion moment. If

exceeded, excessive cold work and loss of ductility may occur.

RecoveryAnother effect which occurs when this type of

operation is performed is what is known as "recovery." Thus im-

mediately after the settage operation on a compression spring,

the free length of the spring will be a certain value; on standing

for some time, however, if the settage stress is too high, the free

length will increase slightly. This again will change the load-

deflection characteristics of the spring and is objectionable in

many cases (such as, for example, instrument springs).

CHAPTER IX

COMBINED LATERAL AND AXIAL LOADING; BUCKLING

OF HELICAL COMPRESSION SPRINGS

If a compression spring is made too long relative to its

diameter, it will be found that at a certain load, a sudden side-

wise buckling will occur. This phenomenon is essentially simi-

lar to the buckling of a long slender column when the load ex-

ceeds the critical load. In the design of helical compression

springs, it is necessary to guard against this lateral buckling by

choosing the spring proportions in such a way that the critical

or buckling load will always be greater than any load encoun-

tered in service. If this is not done, some sort of lateral sup-

port (such as a hollow tube for a guide) must be provided.

BUCKLING

Calculation of the buckling load for helical springs may be

carried out in essentially the same manner as that used in

column theory1. However, the analysis in the case of the spring

differs from that used in ordinary column theory in that it is

necessary to consider the decrease in length under load. In

the case of the usual steel column, on the other hand, this de-

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crease is small and may be neglected. The reason for this lies in

the high modulus of elasticity of most structural materials, which

is such that the change in length from no load to full load is

usually less than .1 per cent. This is not true, however, for a

material like rubber with a very low modulus of elasticity. Be-

sides the change in length under load, it is also necessary to

consider the deformations of the spring due to lateral shearing

forces. In addition it will be assumed that the spring is close

coiled so that the pitch angle may be considered as small.

'For ;i good discussion of column theory sec Theory of Elastic Stability by

Timoshenko, McGraw-Hill, 1936. A discussion of buckling of helical springs is

also given here. For addit-'onal references on the buckling of springs see articles

by E. Hurlbrink, Zei(. Vrr. d. Inj.. V. 54, Paee 138, 1910; by R. Grammel. Zeit Aneru;.

Math. Mech., V. 4, Page 384, 1924; and by Biezeno and Koch, Zett Angew Math. Mcch.

V. 5, Page 279, 1925.

169

170

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Letting / = free length of spring; /length of spring after

compression; n=number of active coils; r = mean coil radius; x,

P, y equal the compressive, flexural, and shearing rigidities of

the spring in its unstressed condition- and a, fi, " are the same

quantities after compression of the spring.

Critical LoadIt may be shown from column theory that

if the shearing deformations in a column with hinged ends are

considered, the critical load is'

P.

1+-"P<

(131)

AG

In this AG/k, is the shearing rigidity of the column and Pr is the

Euler critical load w^EI/t2, EI being the flexural rigidity of the

column. The Euler critical load is that figured by considering

only the flexural rigidity and neglecting shearing deformations.

Applying these formulas to a spring with shear rigidity 7

and flexural rigidity fi, the critical load becomes

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For a close-coiled spring the compressive, flexural and

shearing rigidities will all be inversely proportional to the num-

ber of coils per unit length (Equations 135, 141, and 144). Hence

III

a.: 0=0..: 7 = 7..-,- '133)

Substituting Equation 133 in Equation 132,

p.- !. ()

Using Equation 7, Chapter II, compressive rigidity becomes

^By compressive rigidity is me(int the ratio of load to deflection per unit of length

for the case of a bar under direct compression. For a bar of cross-sectional area A

and modulus of elasticity E the compressive rigidity is equal to AE. Likewise the

flexural rigidity is the ratio of bending moment to curvature for a beam in pure

bending and is equal to modulus of elasticity times moment of inertia of the cross-

section. The shearing rigidity is equal to the ratio of shearing force to shearing

deflection per unit of length and for a beam is equal to modulus of rigidity times cross-

scctional area GA, multiplied by a constant depending on the shape of the section.

3Timoshenko, loc. ctt., Page 140.

COMBINED LOADINGCOMPRESSION SPRINGS 171

Gd<h

(135)

Since the length is Z when the spring is compressed to the critical

load Pcr, the following equation holds:

ltzL= 64P^n

h Gd'L

Using Equation 136 in Equation 135,

L-l P

or, solving for P,

'-(-T>

(137)

Equating values of Prr given by Equations 134 and 137, the fol-

lowing relation is obtained

(/0-/) V2?. 1

Letting z= l/l, then this equation may be reduced to

^'+^-(- + -)-^-0 (138)

Flexural RigidityCalculation of the flexural rigidity /? of

the spring may be accomplished by determining the angular

twist of a single coil of the spring under the action of a moment

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transverse to the plane of the coil as indicated in Fig. 83. This

may be done by considering a quarter coil subject to a moment

M at its end as indicated in Fig. 84. The moment is here repre-

sented by a vector. At a cross section at an angle <f> the bend-

ing moment Mb will be M cos <f> while the twisting moment M,

will be M sin <. Considering a length ds=rd<f>, the total com-

ponent of angular twist about the axis of the moment will be

M,,ds cos $ M,ds sin <t>

dB EI + 0T (139)

172

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

In this case EI and GIP are the flexural and torsional rigidities of

the wire cross section, respectively. The twist due to the bending

moment Mo must be multiplied by cos <f> to obtain the component

along the axis yy of the moment; that due to M< must be multi-

Fig. 83Spring subjected to transverse moment

plied by sin <. The moment of inertia in bending of the section

is taken as /, that in torsion as Ip. Substituting Mb = M cos <,

Mt = M sin <f> and d,t=rd<f> in Equation 139 gives

rM rM

de = cos2 4>d<t>+ sm' <pd<t>

El GIp

The total angular twist 6 for a complete turn will be four

times the integral of this between <f>=0 and 4>=ir/2. Thus:

'--/'-(

rM rM

cos' 4>+ sin2 ip

EI

)d<t>

irMr

EI

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Integrating this,

/ EI \

(1+g7t)

(140)

If the free length is l, the number of turns per inch axial

length will be n/l. This means that the angular deflection in

one inch axial length will be n6/l. This will be also equal to the

curvature Hence, taking 1=2I for a circular cross section of

the spring bar,

I.

nir Mr f E \

17 ~eT\ +"2g)

From this the flexural rigidity /?, which is the ratio of bend-

ing moment to curvature, is seen to be

COMBINED LOADINGCOMPRESSION SPRINGS

173

00 =

2LEIG

nirr(2G+E)

.(141)

Shearing RigidityTo calculate the shearing rigidity, the

deformation of a single ring (or coil) under a shear force Q is

considered, Fig. 85a. Considering the deformation of the quar-

ter turn shown in Fig. 85b, the bending moment at an angle $

(b) TOP VIEW

Fig. 84Quarter coil under moment trans-

verse to plane of coil

(a) SIDE VIEW*

will be Qr sin <f>; this divided by EI and multiplied by ds will

give the angular deflection d6 in a length ds. Hence

Qr

EI

.(142)

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de=_-sin <t>ds

The deflection along the axis yy will be this angle multi-

Fig. 85Single spring turn under shear force

17-4

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

plied by r sin <f>. This gives, using Equation 142,

Qr2 sin2 4>ds

dy=dfIr sin 4>=

EI

Taking ds=r sin <f>, integrating between 0 and r/2, and

multiplying by 4 to get the shearing deflection y for a complete

turn of spring,

, / Qr> sin2 4>d<t> w Or*

Since there will be n/l turns per inch axial length, the total

shearing deflection per inch axial length will be

ny irn Qr3

~TT=~l7 EI

From this the shearing rigidity, or ratio of shearing force to de-

flection per unit length, becomes

LEI

7o ,- (144)

Substituting expressions in Equations 135,141, and 144 for a

/?, 7 in Equation 138 and taking G=E/2(1 + ") where = Pois-

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son's ratio,

z3-z2+(3+2r)mz-m = 0 (145)

where

m = (146)

It will be found that this equation has one real positive rool

which determines the critical value of z at which buckling occurs.

If this value of z is known, the corresponding critical load is, using

Equation 137,

P_*^-_a#(1_,) (147)

The results, by solving Equation 145, may be expressed:

COMBINED LOADINGCOMPRESSION SPRINGS 175

P-CbLCk (148)

where CK = spring constant of spring or load per inch deflection,

and CB = a factor depending on the ratio l/r between free

length and coil radius. Pcr = critical or buckling load.

For a spring with hinged ends as was assumed in the deriva-

tion, the factor Cu is given by the lower curve a in Fig. 86. A

spring loaded between two pivots as indicated in Fig. 87b might

I0|IIIIII 1I 1IIIII I

5 0 10

RATIO g- FREE LENGTH

n r MEAN COL RADIUS

15

Fig. 86Curve for finding buckling load factor Ci>. Curve a

for spring with fixed ends; curve b for hinged ends

be considered approximately as a spring with hinged ends pro-

vided that the distance h is small compared to the free length.

Fixed Spring EndsWhere the ends of the spring may be

considered as fixed, a similar analysis may be carried out. The

results may be written in the same form as Equation 148 except

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that the buckling load factor Ca is now to be taken from the upper

curve b of Fig. 86. The case of built-in ends is simulated when a

helical spring is compressed between parallel plates as indicated

in Fig. 87a, but because of incomplete fixity of the ends and of

load eccentricity, buckling load may be lower than calculated'.

Since for a spring of circular wire the spring constant Ck is

'See article by Biezeno and Koch, loc. cit. for a further discussion of this problem.

Tests carried out by these investigators show good agreement with the analysis

nrovided that the number of coils is not too small and that the coils do not touch

before buckling occurs. Also comments in Machine Design, July 1943, Page 144.

176

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Gd'/64r n, from Equation 7, Equation 148 may bo written as

Gd,

P=CL - - (149)

64r3n

The factor Cu may also be considered as the ratio of the critical

deflection (at which buckling occurs) to the free length. Thus,

if CB.4, buckling may be expected at a deflection equal to .4I .

Although the results of tests show agreement with Equation

148 for usual conditions, some inaccuracy may be expected due

to variations in spring dimensions and the effect of end turns.

ExampleAs an example of the use of the buckling load

factor Cu in calculating the buckling load, a steel helical

compression spring has the following dimensions: Free length

U=6 inches, mean coil radius r=.75-inch, outside diameter==

(b) HINGED ENDS

Fig. 87Springs with fixed and hinged ends

1.75 inches, wire diameter d=.25-inch, active turns n12.

From the chart of Fig. 79 (Chapter VII) for these dimensions

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the spring constant CK = 142 pounds per inch. From Fig. 86 the

buckling factor CB is found equal to .64 for Z/V=6/.75=8. It

will be assumed that the spring is compressed between parallel

surfaces so that the ends are completely restrained from rota-

tion; hence curve b of Fig. 86 for fixed ends may be used. Then

COMBINED LOADINGCOMPRESSION SPRINGS 177

from Equation 148 the calculated buckling load Pcr is CBZcCK=

(.64)(6) 142 = 545 pounds. Assuming a maximum working

stress of 60,000 pounds per square inch the actual load on the

spring would be (from the chart of Fig. 79, Chapter VII) P=

190 pounds, taking 60 per cent of the value for 100,000 pounds

per square inch. Under these conditions there is a consider-

able margin between the working load and the buckling load.

If, however, the ends of the spring were hinged as indicated in

Fig. 87b, so that no restraint due to rotation occurs, then using

curve a of Fig. 86, the constant CM = .2. In this case Pcr~

Gy,,CK=.2(6.0)142=170 pounds. Hence, with this type of

end fastening there would be danger of such a spring buckling

before the working load of 190 pounds was reached.

COMBINED AXIAL AND LATERAL LOADING

DeflectionHelical springs are sometimes called on to with-

stand not only axial loads, but also transverse loads as indicated

in Fig. 88 where the force Q represents the transverse load.

Examples of such applications are certain types of railway

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Fig. 88Helical spring under

combined lateral and axial load

178

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

trucks in which the helical springs must transmit lateral loads

combined with axial loads. In certain refrigerator mechanisms

where the compressor is supported on helical springs, these

latter are called upon to absorb lateral forces due to the un-

balanced reciprocating mechanism as well as axial loads due to

the weight of the unit.

For calculation of the lateral deflections of a spring under

such conditions the combined effect of the axial load P and the

lateral load Q must be considered. In general the larger the

axial load relative to the buckling load the larger the effect of

the former on the deflection.

The case of a spring loaded both axially and transversely as

indicated in Fig. 88 may be considered as a column under com-

bined axial and transverse loads5. It is also essentially the same

as a cantilever spring under combined axial and transverse load-

ing, Fig. 154 Chapter XVI. The procedure in calculating such a

spring is as follows: First the lateral deflection of the spring is

calculated as though there were no axial load. Assuming the

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deflection calculated in this way is 8, the critical load Prr is found

from Equation 148 for the case of built-in ends using curve b

of Fig. 86. If P is the axial load acting on the spring, the ratio

P/Prr is thus found. As will be shown later in Chapter XVI the

magnification in the deflection due to the axial load will be given

approximately by"

Values of C, as a function of P/P,, are given in Fig. 156 of

Chapter XVI. Then the actual lateral deflection will be

=C, (151)

To calculate the deflection 8 which would occur if no axial

load were acting the results of beam theory may be used. The

simple cantilever spring loaded by a lateral load Q (Fig. 147

Chapter XVI) may be considered as two cantilevers of length /, 2.

This gives a deflection due to bending of

Timoshenko, Theory of Elastic Stability, Page 4.

'A more exact method of determining this factor is given in the reference of

Footnote 5. This shows that the approximate expression is sufficiently accurate for

practical use.

COMBINED AXIAL AND LATERAL LOADING

179

S'-j2El

In this case EI is the flexural rigidity of the cantilever.

To apply this to the laterally loaded helical spring of Fig.

88 the flexural rigidity /3 given by Equation 141 is used, taking

instead of l the compressed length I under the load P. Thus

QP

* (152)

12(5

To this must be added the deflection due to direct shear

which is simply the load divided by the shearing rigidity 7 and

multiplied by the length I. To find 7 Equation 144 is used taking

/ instead of l. Then the shearing deflection becomes

Ql

S. (153)

The total deflection 8 is the sum of 8, and 8. Thus, using Equa-

tions 152 and 153,

Ql3 Ql

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*"= 12* + y - (154)

For the usual steel springs, E=30X10" pounds per square

inch and G = 11.5X10" pounds per square inch. Using these

values in Equation 154 and simplifying, the expression for the

deflection 8 without axial load becomes:

2Qnr

.=-(.204/'+1.06r=) (155)

This value of 8 is then used in Equation 151 to calculate the

lateral deflection 8.

Increase in StressBecause of this lateral deflection there

will also be an increase in stress. An accurate calculation of this

would involve the end turns and would be very complicted. As

a rough estimate the stress may be computed as follows: The

torsion moment due to the axial load P will be Pr. The effective

radius r will be increased by an amount 8/2 due to the eccentric

loading effect. Thus the torsion moment due to P becomes

equal to P(r-f 8/2). In addition the lateral force Q produces a

180

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

torsion moment Ql/2. This results in a total torsion moment of

M-Krt 2 )1 T (156)

The shearing stress due to the moment Mt will be obtained

by using the approximation (4cl)/(4c4) for the effect of

curvature where c is the spring index, as indicated in Equation

14 Chapter II. Hence

16M, 4c-1

irrf3 4c-4

or using Equation 156

\&Pr / 4c-1 \/ & Ql \

To this is added a stress due to the direct shear load equal to

_ 16Pr/ .615 \

(This value is obtained from the second term in the brackets of

Equation 16). The direct shear stress at the inside of the coil due

to the lateral force Q will be zero. Hence the maximum shear

stress is

t-t. + t. (158)

This calculation should be considered as very rough. Since

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for the usual case t1 is much greater than t, it may be expected

that the effect of lateral loading is to increase the stress in the

ratio:

approximately (159)

2r 2Pr

In general the axial force P is much larger than Q, and for

this case the shear stresses are of primary importance. In a

similar way, the bending stresses may be calculated.

ExampleAs an example: A steel spring has the follow-

ing dimensions: Outside diameter 5 inches, mean coil radius

r=2Vs inches, bar diameter d=?4-inch, free length l0=9xA

inches, active coils n=8.

From Fig. 79, for a spring of %-inch wire and 5 inches

COMBINED AXIAL AND LATERAL LOADING 181

outside diameter at a load of 1100 pounds the deflection per

turn is found to be .188-inch or 1.5 inches for 8 active coils.

Thus the spring constant CK = 1100/1.5=732 pounds per inch.

The ratio J/r= 9.5/2.13 =-4.48 and from Fig. 86 the buckling

load factor CB=.7. Using these values in Equation 148 the

critical load Pcr becomes

Pc,= CBlCK = .7(9.5)732 = 4860 lb

Assuming that the actual axial load P on this spring is 2400

pounds, then P/Pc,= 2400/4860=.494. From Equation 150, the

deflection magnification factor C, is 2. To calculate the deflec-

tion 8 Equation 155 is used. The value of I used in this equa-

tion is the free length l minus the deflection due to a load of

2400 pounds. This latter will be 2400/CK=2400/732 = 3.28

inches. Thus Z=9.53.28=6.22 inches. Assuming a lateral

load @=200 pounds, by substitution in Equation 155,

2(200)(8)X2W r 1

So=w(%y L-204(6-22)2+1-06(2K),-r "274

From Equation 151 the deflection at a lateral load of 200 pounds

(for Cl=2) is

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5=Ci = 2(.274) = .548 inches

Thus it is seen that in this case the actual deflection with axial

load present is twice that calculated by neglecting-the effect of

the axial load.

From Fig. 79 the stress at an axial load of 3050 pounds is

100,000 pounds per square inch with curvature correction con-

sidered. At 2400 pounds axial load the stress would be

2400 (100,000)/3050=78,500 pounds per square inch. From

Equation 159 the factor Cj for determining the increase in stress

due to the lateral load is

s Ol

C,= l + +_i_=l.25 for =.548, Q=200 lb

This means that an increase in stress.to 1.25(78,500) =98,000

pounds per square inch may be expected due to the lateral load.

182

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

TEST DATA

A series of tests on a great many different springs was

carried out by Burdick, Chaplin, and Sheppard7. The tests

were made by supporting a steel plate or table on four springs.

This steel plate carried the axial load while the transverse load

was supplied by a turnbuckle. In this manner essentially the

loading conditions of Fig. 88 were obtained. Results of these

tests showed a considerable scatter between test values of lateral

deflection and those calculated by using Equations 151 and

155. The range in deviation in the test points was from about

60 per cent to 125 per cent of the theoretical values, most of the

test results, however, being within 20 per cent of the calculated

values.

Similar tests carried out by Lehr and Gross in Germany*

showed deviations around 20 per cent or more between calcu-

lated and test deflections. By taking special precautions in

clamping the ends of the spring and by accurately determining

the effective length and number of turns, these investigators

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found it possible to obtain good agreement between theory and

test in the case of laterally loaded compression springs. For this

reason it appears that the chief causes of the discrepancy be-

tween test and theory lies in (1) imperfect clamping of the end

windings, which allows a slight rotation under loading while no

rotation is assumed in the theory, and (2) inaccuracy in de-

termining the effective number of turns and length of the spring.

In practice, for the usual compression springs with the

conventional design of end turns the designer may, therefore,

expect actual deviations as much as 20 per cent and even more

from the calculated values of lateral deflection as obtained from

Equation 151.

'"Deflection of Helical Springs under Transverse Loading" by Burdick, Chaplin

and Sheppard, Transactions A.S.M.E., October, 1939, Page 623.

"Die Federn, published by V.D.I., Berlin, 1938, Page 100.

CHAPTER X

HELICAL SPRINGS FOR

MAXIMUM SPACE EFFICIENCY

A problem which frequently arises in helical spring design

is that of selecting a spring with given load and deflection char-

acteristics, the space available being limited. Since load times

deflection is proportional to energy, this means that a certain

amount of energy must be stored within the given space. A con-

sideration of how the possible energy storage varies with spring

index is therefore of interest.

SINGLE SPRINGS

A logical approach to this problem is to calculate the energy

stored in a compression spring when the coils just touch and

the spring is solid, the stress at solid compression being assumed

to be the maximum allowable value. The amount of energy

stored in the spring is then calculated for various spring indexes.

For a given volume of space occupied by the spring the amount

of energy which can be stored will be a maximum at a definite

value of spring index. However, this optimum value will de-

pend on whether the spring has variable or static loading1.

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Solid and Free-Height VolumeFor statically loaded com-

pression springs where the springs are compressed nearly solid

in practice, the actual space occupied by the spring will ap-

proximate the solid-height volume, i.e., the volume occupied by

a cylinder of diameter equal to the outside spring diameter and

length equal to the active height of the spring (this neglects

the space occupied by the end turns). Hence, for applications

involving statically loaded springs, the use of solid-height vol-

ume appears to be logical as a criterion of efficiency of space

utilization. On the other hand, where the spring is under vari-

able loading with a zero to maximum stress range, the space

^his method of approach is similar lo that used by J. Jennings (Engineering,

August 15, 1941, Page 134). However, the method used by the author differs from

that used by Jennings in that a distinction is made between static and variable

loading. Also the usual deflection formula is used instead of the Wood formula used

by Jennings, since the former is quite accurate (see Chapter IV).

183

184

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

occupied by the spring when unloaded may be much larger

than the solid-height volume. In this case the free-height vol-

ume, or the volume occupied by the active part of the spring

when unloaded probably is a more representative criterion than

solid height volume2. However, it should be mentioned that

the application of the criterion of free-height volume is compli-

cated by the fact that a value of allowable stress at solid com-

pression must be assumed. If a low stress is used, the difference

between the results obtained by using the free-height and those

obtained using the solid-height volume would be much less than

those obtained by using a high stress.

In most practical applications where springs are subject

to a considerable amount of initial compression, a criterion of

space occupied intermediate between the free and solid-height

values would appear to be most representative. This volume

will depend both on the amount of initial compression and on

the allowable stress at solid height. In addition, for best ac-

curacy, the end turns should be considered. To avoid all these

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complications, the simple criterion of solid-height volume will

be used in what follows, primarily as a convenient guide for

judging the efficiency of space utilization.

Infrequent LoadingTo apply this criterion, the potential

energy stored in the spring due to a load P and a deflection 8

will first be calculated. This stored energy is

LT=-i-P (160)

The deflection 8 of the spring is given by Equation 7. Sub-

stituting this value of 8 in Equation 160 the stored energy be-

comes

"-Tr ,,

where the symbols have the usual meanings.

Variable LoadingIf the load acting on the spring is vari-

able as, for instance, that in an automotive valve spring, the

peak torsional stress in the spring as figured using the curvature

correction factor of Equation 19, may, as a first approximation,

2See discussion on this subject by E. Latshaw, Machine Design, March, 1942.

Page 84. In this discussion a number of curves based on free-height volume and a

stress of 120,000 pounds per square inch are given.

MAXIMUM SPACE-EFFICIENCY

185

be used as a measure of the load carrying ability'. This stress

is, from Equation 18,

t" = K ^ (162)

ira3

where the factor K is given by Equation 19.

Solving this formula for P and substituting in Equation 161

the expression for stored energy becomes

* rndtrj

8 GK'

In accordance with the criterion of solid-height volume

discussed previously, this energy must be stored in a volume

equal to that of a cylinder with a diameter equal to the outside

coil diameter (2r-\-d) and a length equal to the active length

nd of the spring when the latter is fully compressed. This

neglects the effect of pitch angle, which is small for practical

springs. The solid-height volume is thus

V= ndr (2r+d)*- = (c+1)'

44

4V

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or

nd3= (164)

ir (c+1)3

where c is the spring index.

Substituting Equation 164 in 163 an expression for total

stored energy is obtained:

U=C, " (165)

4Cr

where C, - is a constant depending on the spring index c and is

C--S--(cT1)2- (166)

This equation shows that, for a given volume of space oc-

cupied and a given peak stress, the energy stored depends only

on the energy coefficient Ct which in turn depends only on the

3See Chapter VI for a more complete discussion of this.

180

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

spring index. Values of C, are plotted against spring index c

in the lower curve of Fig. 89. This curve shows that for variable

loads and for a single spring the maximum energy is stored in

a ^;iven space and at a given peak stress if the spring index is

.40

> 36

a.

.28

.24

.2or

.10

C"v

/(3-SPI

*ING NES

ci /

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(2-SPR

NG NEST^

c,

(single

spring)

6 8 10 12

SPRING INDEX C ~ J

14

Fig. 89-Energy coefficients' for variable loads

between 4 to 5. However, it should be noted that if the free-

height volume had been taken as a basis this optimum value of

the index would have been somewhat less*. Thus, if a stress of

120,000 pounds per square inch is assumed, the optimum index

is around 3 to 4 provided the free-height volume is used as the

criterion of efficiency of space utilization.

Maximum Energy StorageWhere the load is static or re-

peated only a few times during the service life of the spring as

'See discussion by E. Latshaw, loc. cit.

MAXIMUM SPACE-EFFICIENCY

187

discussed in Chapter V indications are that curvature effects (but

not those due to direct shear) may be neglected in calculating

the stress. In this case the stress t0 should be calculated by

Equation 89 which is \.,

16Pr

K,

where K is given by Equation 90 and takes into account the

stress produced by the direct shear load.

Using this equation instead of Equation 162 and proceeding

in a similar way as before, the energy stored becomes

3/

SPRING r>

iest)

s/

j\

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(2-SPRI

NG NEST'

4 (single

spring)\

V-

ir

6 8 10

SPRING INDEX C = *r

12

14

Fig. 90Energy coefficients for static loads

188

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

t,2V

where

C.- - (168)

K> (c+l)" v;

Plotting C, as a function of the spring index c, the lower

curve of Fig. 90 is obtained. This curve indicates a maximum

value of C" at the smallest practical spring index. This means

that where static loads are involved, maximum energy storage

using one spring only will be obtained in a given space by using

the smallest practical value of the index (which will usually be

around three).

SPRING NESTS

A common method of increasing the amount of energy

which may be stored in a given space is to use a spring nest,

i.e., a combination of two or more springs telescoped one within

Fig. 91Three-spring nest of

helical springs

the other as indicated in Fig. 91. A practical example of the

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use of such a nest is shown in Fig. 92 which represents an end

view of a three-spring nest for a locomotive tender truck.

MAXIMUM SPACE-EFFICIENCY

189

For maximum energy storage the solid lengths of all the

springs composing the nest should be the same. Assuming a

nest composed of two springs, this means that

n^' - (169)

In this equation and those following the subscripts 1 and 2 refer

to the outer and inner springs of the nest, respectively. In addi-

tion, it will be assumed that the free lengths of the springs com-

(Photo, courtesy Baldwin-Locomotive Works)

Fig. 92Three-spring nest for locomotive tender

prising the nest are also the same. This means that the total

deflection of each spring is the same at any given load, i.e., that

Ji-a, (170)

Variable LoadingFor variable loading the deflection is

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given by using Equations 7 and 18.

190 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

6- 4"r,2t,n' ^irr'rtni (171)

GdiKi Gd2K2

In terms of the spring indexes cl and c, these equations may

be written

a, = ^2^!! . a,--'**** .' (172)

GKi GK;

If the same maximum stress in each spring is assumed,

r, = t2. Also, since n1d1=n2di from Equation 169 this means

that the spring indexes c, and c-. (and hence also the curvature

correction factors K, and K.,) should be the same if Sl = S. If

the spring indexes are made the same, the energy coefficients

C,- (which depend only on the indexes) will be the same for

both springs. Using Equation 165 this means that the total

energy stored will be given by

where V, and V-. are the volumes enclosed by the outer and

inner springs respectively when compressed solid. Sncc

r,=t, = t, this equation may be written

AG

(-( (1 ~) d73)

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If the two springs just touch, the outer diameter of the

inner spring will be equal to the inner diameter of the outer

spring, i.e., 2r1d,2r2+d2. Using Equation 164 this gives

V,-i,d,(c+l)'

V,=nA (2r, - d,)' = n ,222,J (c, -1)2

44

Since cl = c. = c and n1<21=nd2, from these equations is ob-

tained:

v:-c;:)' >

Substituting this in Equation 173, for a two-spring nest,

MAXIMUM SPACE-EFFICIENCY

191

U= C

.(175)

where

(176)

and V = volume enclosed by outer spring.

Values of the energy coefficient C,' are plotted against

spring index in Fig. 89. From this it is seen that for a two-spring

nest under variable loading, the maximum energy storage is ob-

tained for spring indexes around 5 to 7. These values are some-

what higher than those obtained for a single spring; however,

they are also higher than would be the case if the free-height

volume had been taken as a basis. Thus for example the analysis

by Latshaw mentioned previously2 indicates an optimum value

of index for a two-spring nest equal to about 4, based on an al-

lowable stress of 120,000 pounds per square inch. For a lower

assumed stress this value of spring index would be higher.

A similar analysis based on solid-height volume may be

made for a three-spring nest. This gives, for energy stored,

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the constant C, being given by Equation 166.

Values of Cv" plotted against c in Fig. 89 show that for a

three-spring nest under the assumptions of equal deflection and

equal solid height, the maximum energy is stored in a given

volume of space if springs having indexes around 6 to 8 are

used. Again these values will be lower if the free-height volume

is used as a basis.

Static LoadingFor a spring nest subject to static loading

the analysis may be made in exactly the same way as before,

except that the stress t is figured from Equation 89 which

neglects the stress augment due to curvature, and instead of C,

the factor Cs (Equation 168) is used. Results of this analysis are:

(177)

4G

where

(178)

192

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

For a two-spring nest, statically loaded, the stored energy

becomes

U=C.' r-'J (179)

AG

where

C'"C'V + (ttt)1 (180)

For a three-spring nest, statically loaded, stored energy is

U=>C."' (181)

where

c--^[> (:.:)'(:;! )'i (>

Values of C,' and C" are plotted against spring index c in

Fig. 90. From these it appears that for static loads the maximum

energy storage in a given spate will be had by using springs with

indexes around 3 to 4 for a two-spring nest and with indexes of 4 to

5 for a three-spring nest. These optimum values are somewhat

lower than those obtained for springs under variable loading,

based on the criterion of solid-height volume. However, if the

criterion of free-height volume is used for springs under variable

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loading, the difference between the optimum values of index for

the two kinds of loading will be small. In any case, the results

do indicate that where maximum energy storage within a

given space is a primary consideration, a rather low value of

index should be used, say around 3 for a single spring and about

SVz or 4 for two or three-spring nests.

Application of formulasAssuming the designer requires a

spring with a definite load and deflection for a given application,

the amount of energy stored is fixed. By using the formulas of

this chapter, the minimum amount of space required for the spring

can be found for a given peak stress. Actually, other practical

considerations may dictate larger space requirements than those

indicated, but the formulas should give a rough indication of

the space needed.

CHAPTER XI

TENSION SPRINGS

Design of helical tension and combination tension-com-

pression springs differs from that of compression springs in that

the effect of the end turns in reducing allowable stress should be

considered.

HELICAL TENSION SPRINGS

Unless special care is taken in manufacture a fairly sharp

curvature of the wire or bar at the point where the hook joins

the body of the spring, at A, Fig. 93b, may occur. This curvature

will result in additional stress concentration which is not con-

sidered in the usual method of stress calculation for helical

springs. Thus at point A a half end turn is bent up sharply so

that the radius r, is relatively small, which tends to result in a

high concentration of stress. For this reason, most failures of

tension springs occur at such points and this is one reason why

a somewhat lower working stress is usually recommended for

tension springs as compared with compression springs. This

stress-concentration effect may be reduced, and the strength

increased, by shaping the end turn so that the minimum radius

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of curvature is as large as possible.

Another factor which must be considered in tension springs

is the effect of initial tension. By certain methods of coiling

the spring it is possible to bring the coils together in such a way

that an initial load must be applied before the coils will begin to

separate. The amount of this initial load is limited to a value

corresponding to a stress around 6000 to 25,000 pounds per

square inch (figured by neglecting curvature effects), the exact

value depending on the spring index. After separation of the

coils begins, the slope of the load-deflection diagram is the same

as that which would be obtained for a spring with no initial

tension. In many mechanisms the initial tension is important.

Stress in End LoopsAlthough an exact calculation of

stress in the end loops of helical springs is complicated, a rough

193

194

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

estimate for the case shown in Fig. 93 (which has a sharp bend

at points A and A') may be made as follows: The bending moment

at A' (where the sharp bend begins) due to the load P is Pr ap-

proximately. The nominal bending stress at this point will be

32Pr/wd3 since 7rd:i/32 is the section modulus of a circular sec-

(b)

Fig. 93Tension spring with half-loop coil end

tion. (Note: This is twice as great as the nominal torsion stress

IGPr/ird due to the torsion moment Pr). The maximum bend-

ing stress will be this value multiplied by a factor K, where K,

is a stress concentration factor depending on the ratio 2r../d, the

radius r2 being the radius at the start of the bend in the plane

of the hook, as indicated in Fig. 93. An estimate of K, may be

obtained from the curve of Fig. 180, Chapter XVII, for torsion

springs which applies to round wire in bending. To this bend-

ing stress must also be added the direct tension stress 4P/Vd-'.

This gives a maximum bending stress at point A' equal to

32Pr 4P

(183)

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-K, +

At the point A, Fig. 93b near the point where the bend joins

the helical portion of the spring the stress condition is prin-

cipally torsion. Calculation may be made as follows: From Equa-

tion 14, Chapter II, for the case of pure torsion acting on a

curved bar, the approximate expression for stress concentration

TENSION SPRINGS

195

factor is (4c1l)/(4ci4) where in this case c, is to be taken

as 2r,/d, the radius r, being the radius of curvature of the bend,

Fig. 93fo. The maximum stress due to the torsion moment Pr

will then be

There is also a direct shear stress present at point A due to

the axial load. This direct shear, however, does not act at the

inside of the bend where the torsion stress given by Equation

184 would exist. Consequently, Equation 184 may be taken as

an approximate expression for the maximum stress at point A.

If r, is small, c, will also be small, and the quantity in the paren-

Fig. 94Tension spring with full loop turned up.

Dimensions A, B, C, D are approximately equal to the

inside diameter of the spring, E = B/3 approximately,

l d (n' + l) where n' = number of turns in dimension /

between points where loops begin. Working turns

thesis of this equation may be large. This means a high stress

concentration effect, and shows the advisability of keeping r,

as large as possible.

(184)

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Between points A' and A there will be a combination of

"= n' +1, approximately

196

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

bending and torsion stresses which depend on the shape of the

bend as well as on the radii r, and r2. Since the peaks of these

bending and shearing stresses do not occur at the same point,

the combination of the two presents considerable complication

and will not be discussed here. For practical purposes Equa-

tions 183 and 184 are probably sufficient.

For the commonly used type of tension spring with a full

loop turned up as indicated in Fig. 94, the minimum radius of

curvature will be considerably larger, and the stress concentra-

tion effect smaller, than is the case with the spring shown in

Fig. 93 where a half loop is turned up. Dimensions as commonly

used for these springs arc also indicated in Fig. 94.

Effect of End Coils on Deflection of Tension SpringsTo

find the total number of active turns in a tension spring, the

number of turns between points where the loop begins is deter-

mined first. To this is added the deflection due to the end coils.

Tests made by Sayre1 indicate that a half coil turned up to form

a loop as indicated in Fig. 93 is equivalent to .1 full-coil as far

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as deflection is concerned. Thus, if a spring had n' turns be-

tween points where the loops start, the total active turns would

be n' + .2 the extra .2 turn being the equivalent of two loops.

This conclusion may be shown analytically as follows. The half

coil turned up to form a loop is equivalent to the quarter-turn

of Fig. 856, Chapter IX, loaded as shown. Using Equation 143

the deflection of this quarter-turn becomes

where in this case r is the mean radius of the loop (taken equal

to the mean spring radius). Since for most spring materials

the modulus of elasticity E = 2.6G, approximately, where G

modulus of rigidity, this equation may be written

or 8, = .18,, approximately, where $ is the deflection per turn

given by Equation 7.

For the full coil turned up, Fig. 94, the experimental work

of Sayre1 indicates a deflection equal to ,5-turn. In this case the

Pr'

'Transactions A.S.M.E., 1934, Pngc 558.

TENSION SPRINGS

197

total number of active coils would be n' + l where n' is again

the number between points where the loops begin.

Initial TensionThe amount of initial tension which can

be put into a spring depends primarily on the spring index

2r/d, the higher the index the lower the initial tension values.

The values of stress corresponding to practical values of initial

tension listed in Table XXIV were published by Wallace Barnes

Co.'2. These values are calculated from Equation 4, curvature

effects being neglected. Hence the initial tension load may be

figured from these values of stress using the formula

p.=-:f- use)

16r

where r1= initial tension stress.

As an example calculation for finding initial tension load:

A tension spring has a 2-inch outside diameter and y4-inch wire

diameter so that the index 2r/d=7. When wound with maxi-

Table XXIV

Torsional Stress Corresponding to Initial Tension

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SPr(2rgJrd" Ini,i' Te"" Stress

''' Pounds Per Square Inch

T 25,000

* 22,500

Jj 20,000

18,000

'16,200

"14,500

"13,000

.. 11,600

10,600

,., 9.700

8,800

, _ 7.900

3 7,000

mum initial tension the stress, from Table XXIV, due to initial

tension will be t, = 16,200 pounds per square inch. From Equa-

tion 185 the initial tension load becomes

By changes in the method of winding, values of initial tension

'The Mainspring, April, 1941.

198

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

less than this may also be obtained.

Shapes of End CoilsUsually the end turns of tension

springs are made in the simple forms indicated in Figs. 93 and

94 where either a half or a full turn is bent up to form a loop.

In many practical applications, however, a wide variety of end

loop designs, some of which are shown in Fig. 95, may be used.

Some of these designs, particularly where the loop or hook

is at the side, will result in a considerably greater stress in the

spring than that calculated on the basis of an axial load, Equa-

FULL LOOP

(a)

SMALL EYE

FLAM SQUARE

CUT ENDS

(d)

LONG ROUND END

HOOK

V HOOK

(9)

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EXTENDED EYE

CONED END TO HOLD

LONG SWIVEL EYE

<h)

CONEO END WITH

SWIVEL BOLT

til

Fig. 95Various types of end loops for tension springs

tion 18. Thus, if the loop is at the side, the moment arm of the

load on which the maximum torsion stress in the spring depends

is practically twice that which would exist if a purely axial load

were applied to the same spring. This means a doubling of the

stress for a given load.

Sometimes in the actual loading of tension springs, even if

the usual type of end loop is used, the line of action of the load

may still be displaced by a considerable amount from the axis

of the spring. In this case a considerable increase in stress may

also occur and should be considered by the designer.

Often tension springs are made with plain ends, Fig. 95d.

Special fixtures called "spring ends" are attached to these as in-

dicated in Fig. 96a. When using these, the spring is close wound

and the ends of the spring are spread apart by screwing the

spring into the holes. In this case an initial stress corresponding to

TENSION SPRINGS

199

raw ID

the spreading apart of the turns near the ends is set up. This

initial stress will correspond to a load equal to the initial ten-

sion in the spring plus the load corresponding to the distance

the end coils are spread. A second type of spring end is shown

in Fig. 96b. This is screwed into the ends of the spring coil.

Some expedients to reduce stress in the end coils are indi-

cated in Figs. 97 and 98. In Fig. 97 the diameter of end coils

is gradually reduced before the end loop is formed. Then, when

the end loop is bent up, the moment arm of the load at the point

where the curvature of the wire is the sharpest will be small.

Thus the peak stress in the spring is reduced accordingly. Such

a design, while more expensive than the usual form of end loop,

is worth while where high stresses are unavoidable.

Another method of reducing the stress in the spring is to

use a U-shape piece having hooks at each end to fit over the

spring wire. By means of this arrangement a sharp curvature

Fig. 96Two types of spring ends for tension springs

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Fig. 97End coil for reduced stress in tension spring

200

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of the spring wire or bar at points of high stress is avoided and

the maximum stress in the spring reduced. In addition this

type of construction is frequently of advantage in mechanism

where springs are subject to a whipping action as, for example,

when one end of the spring is attached to a bell-crank which

travels through a given arc and stops sud-

denly. In this case the end of the spring is

stopped when the spring itself has a velocity

transverse to its axis. For such applications

the swivel action provided by the design

of Fig. 98 is of advantage in reducing the

stress3. On the other hand, a spring fast-

ened rigidly at its ends by a plug would be

subject to rather high stress at these points

due to this whipping action.

Working Stresses For tension springs

with the usual design of end loop, Figs. 93

and 94, where the curvature may be rather

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sharp, il is to be expected that the strength

will be appreciably lower than for compres-

sion springs of the same material and heat

treatment. This is particularly true where

the spring is subject to fatigue or repeated

loading since in this case the stress concen-

tration effect due to the sharp curvature

would be emphasized. Also it is difficult to preset tension

springs properly since either the initial tension will be lost or

excessive space will result between turns. Because of lack of

favorable residual stresses more creep or load loss may, there-

fore, be expected than for properly preset compression springs.

For these reasons, a reduction of working stress to 75 or 80 per

cent of that for compression springs is frequently made.

Fig. 98Method of

supporting end

loops to avoid

bending stress due

to whipping action

TENSION-COMPRESSION SPRINGS

Often it is desirable for a spring to exert both tension and

compression loads. A case in point is a crank-type fatigue test-

ing machine used for testing full-sized impulse turbine blades'.

"For further discussion of this see The Mainspring, August, 1939.

tSee article by R. P. Kroon"Turbine Blade Fatigue Testing", Mechanical Engi-

neering, Vol. 62, Page 531.

TENSION SPRINGS

201

Fig. 99Tension-compression spring. The spring is clamped at both

ends so that both tension and compression loads may be exerted

In this case nine springs having the shape shown in Fig. 99 are

clamped around the periphery of two circular plates as shown in

Fig. 100. One of these plates is moved back and forth by a crank

arrangement connected to a crosshead. By this means an al-

ternating load varying between tension and compression is ap-

plied to the turbine blade specimen which is heated at the same

time, thus simulating the temperature and vibration conditions

occurring in service. In making such springs, care should be-

taken so that the end coils have a gradual transition between the

body of the spring and the straight portion of the end. In this

manner the curvature of the end turns may be reduced and the

effects of stress concentration minimized as much as possible.

The advantage of the arrangement of Fig. 100 is that a definite

load is maintained on the test specimen even if deflections of

the latter occur, due to various causes.

In designing tension-compression springs, it should be

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borne in mind that if the stress is completely reversed, the stress

range will be twice that of a spring subject to pulsating (zero

to maximum) stress of the same peak value. Thus if the endur-

Fig. 100Assembly of

tension - compression

springs for crank-type

fatigue testing machine

202

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

ance limit is 70,000 pounds per square inch for springs tested in a

zero to maximum range (this is an average value for springs of

this type, Chapter IV) the expected endurance limit would be

about 35,000 pounds per square inch in the case of a tension-

compression spring for the same material. Additional stress con-

centration effects near the end turns would tend to reduce the

endurance range below this value. On the other hand, the en-

durance range in reversed stress may be somwhat greater than

that to be expected in a zero to maximum stress range. In

general it, therefore, appears that usually a working stress about

half the allowable value for a zero to maximum range may be

employed for such springs.

In the springs used in Fig. 100, which have a wire diameter

of .5-inch and an index of 3.5, working stresses of 25,000

pounds per square inch, figured with curvature correction, have

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been used without failure in service.

CHAPTER XII

SQUARE AND RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION

SPRINGS

Square or rectangular-wire compression or tension springs

have advantages in many applications. For example, in the de-

sign of precision spring scales, a rectangular cross-section en-

ables the designer to obtain a more nearly linear load-deflection

characteristic1. An application of this type utilizing rectangular

bar springs is the heavy duty scales of Fig. 1 Chapter I. Another

illustration of the use of such springs is the set of interchange-

able iso-elastic springs in Fig. 101 made for a testing machine.

A further advantage of the square or rectangular-bar sec-

tion is that more material may be packed into a given space for

such sections than would be possible for round wire. However,

this advantage is partially nullified by the fact that the efficiency

of utilization of the material for the rectangular section is not as

great. Where static loads are involved and springs are cold-set,

a more uniform stress distribution occurs and this difference

in efficiency between round and rectangular wire may be small.

SPRINGS OF LARGE INDEX, SMALL PITCH ANGLE

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If the pitch angle is not too large, a helical tension or com-

pression spring of square or rectangular wire and of large index'-'

may be considered essentially as a bar of square or rectangular

cross section subject to a torsion moment Pr, Fig. 102 where P is

the axial load and r the mean coil radius. To calculate the tor-

sional rigidity and stress in a rectangular bar under torsion,

Prandtl's "membrane analogy" may be used"'.

Membrane AnalogyThis analogy may be briefly de-

scribed as follows: A stretched membrane having a rectangular

shape is subject to a uniform tension at its edges, combined with

'For a further discussion of this point together with theoretical results see

paper by Sayre and de Forest"New Spring Formulas and New Materials in Precision

Spring Scale Design" presented at the Annual A.S.M.E. Meeting, December, 1934.

aIn this case, the index may be considered as the ratio 2r/a between mean di-

ameter and thickness of wire cross-section btii. 102.

Timoshenko's Theory of Elasticity, McGraw-Hill, 1934, Page 239, gives a more

complete discussion of this analogy.

203

204

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

a uniform lateral pressure causing it to bulge out. The Prandtl

analogy states that the maximum slope of the membrane at

any point represents the shearing stress at the corresponding

point in the twisted bars, and that the volume enclosed

.Courtesy John Chatillon ami Sons

Fig. 101Set of interchangeable rectangular bar springs made for a test-

ing machine. Rates vary from 1/10 to 1xk pounds per inch deflection

within membrane and plane of its edges represents torque.

It may also be shown' that the deflections of a loaded

membrane must satisfy the partial differential equation:

+.

fly'

(186)

where z is tli? deflection of the membrane at any point having

the coordinates x and tj, q is the pressure per unit of area of the

membrane, and S the tension force in the membrane itself per

unit length of the boundary. In addition the deflection z must

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be zero at the edges.

Referring to Fig. 103 which represents a rectangular cross

section with sides a and b where (b>), the deflection z of the

membrane may be expressed in series form as follows:

Enwx

bn cos . Y

.(187)

'Timoshenko, loc. cit., Page 240.

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 205

where Y is a function of y only. By proper choice of Y, the

membrane Equation (186) may be satisfied.

By substitution of Equation 187 in Equation 186 and ex-

panding the right side of Equation 186 in the form of a Fourier's

series, the expression for Y may be determined. The final re-

sults become

Sir> tln? \

n-l 3 & \

cosh

cosh

nirb

2a

\cOs -

. (188)

From the membrane analogy, the shearing stress at any

point is proportional to the slope of the membrane at the cor-

responding point, the term q/S being replaced by 2Gi9 where

Fig. 102 Helical spring of

rectangular wire axially loaded

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G = modulus of rigidity and 6 the angular twist per unit length.

By differentiating Equation 188 and taking y=0, x=a/2, the

maximum stress rm (at the mid-points of the long sides) becomes

206

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

er

(189)

rm = k(2Gda) (190)

where k depends on h a, from Table XXV.

The torque Mt may be determined in terms of the angular

twist 6 by taking twice the volume under the deflected mem-

Table XXV

Factors for Computing Rectangular Bars in Torsion

b/

k,

k.

1.

.875

.1406

.208

1.2

.739

.219

1.S

.848

.196

.231

2.

.930

.229

.246

2.5

.968

.249

. .258

a.

.985

.263

.287

4.

.997

.281

.282

5.

.999

.291

.291

10.

1.000

.312

.312

1.000

.333

.333

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.166

brane. the ratio q/S being again replaced by 2GH. Since twice

this volume is given by

V=2 / / zdxdy

t/0/2 /-6/2

by using Equation 188 for z and taking q/S = 2Gh the expres-

sion for torque becomes

1 / 192a 1 nwb \

Af, = Gea'b I I >v tanh \

3 I *-b ni 2a

This equation may be written

M,=kiGea?b

Solving for 6,

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 207

where fc, depends on the ratio b/a and may be obtained from

Table XXV.

By substituting the value of 6 given by Equation 191 in

Equation 190 the maximum stress rm may be determined in

terms of Mt. Thus,

The factor k., may be taken from Table XXV.

For a rectangular-wire helical spring of large index and

small pitch angle, the twisting moment Mt = Pr where r=mean

coil radius, Fig. 102. The maximum shearing stress then becomes

It should be noted that this equation assumes a large index,

i.e., the stress increase due to curvature and direct shear is neg-

M,

k-sOrb

(192)

>>>

Fig. 103Rectangular bar section

lected. These latter effects will be considered later.

For square-wire springs where a=b, this equation re-

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duces to

208

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

,,-^ (194)

From Equation 191 the angular twist 6 per unit length

may be found, taking Mt=Pr. The total angular twist will be

2irnrd and the deflection S, this value multiplied by the coil

radius r. Thus & 2irnr-9, or using Equation 191

2*Pr>n

i=^6G (195)

where fc, is taken from Table XX\r.

For square-wire springs where a = b this equation re-

duces to

44.6 Pr3n

(196)

Ga'

Although in deriving this deflection equation a large index

is tacitly assumed, a more exact calculation based on elastic

theory5 shows that for an index greater than four the error will

be under 2 per cent. This is in contrast to the stress formula

which may be considerably in error even for indexes greater

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than 4.

For large pitch angles or large deflections a theory may be

developed for square-wire springs similar to that described in

Chapter III for round wire springs.

SQUARE-WIRE SPRINGS OF SMALL INDEX

If the spring be assumed simply as a square bar under a

torsion moment Pr, the use of the membrane analogy yields an

expression for maximum shear stress which is given by Equation

194. For large spring indexes this value of stress will be approxi-

mately correct, but for small or moderate indexes the error will

be considerable. In such cases, as for round wire, a more exact

analysis shows that to obtain the maximum stress, the ordinary

stress formula must be multiplied by a factor K' depending on

the spring index to account for curvature and direct shear.

Small Pitch AnglesThe factor K' may be computed from

.Kloehner, O.Die Berechnung Zylindrischer Schraubenfedern V.D.I. Vol. 76,

Page 269.

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 209

elastic theory in a similar way as for the case of round wire,

Chapter II. In this case the analysis" shows that for small pitch

angles and indexes greater than three an expression for the factor

K', correct to within 1 per cent, is

1.2 0.56 0.5

c c2 c3

.(197)

Where c=2r/aspring index.

Thus the maximum torsion stress for square wire becomes

A.&Pr

(198)

Values of K' are plotted as functions of spring index 2r/a

in Fig. 104. Comparison of this figure with the corresponding

curve for round wire (Fig. 30 Chapter II) shows that the values

SPRING INDEX C=Z%

Fig. 104Stress multiplication factor K' for square-wire

helical springs (Index 2r/o>3)

of K' are somewhat under the K values for round wire, the differ-

ence being about 7 per cent for an index of 3, and 4 per cent for

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an index of 4.

In general when a square-wire spring is wound, as a con-

"Goehncr, loc. cit., Page 272.

210

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

-sequence of plastic deformation during coiling the section be-

comes trapezoidal as indicated in Fig. 105. In such cases an

approximation may be had by taking an average value of a

equal to

and taking the spring index equal to 2r/a, for finding K'. The

stress measurements on rectangular-wire springs to be discussed

later indicate that this method is sufficiently accurate.

To calculate deflections in square-wire springs of small

index, Equation 196. derived on the basis of a straight bar in

torsion will give results correct to within 4 per cent for spring

indexes over three. The application of the more exact calcula-

tion based on elastic theory" yields the following expression

valid for small indexes and small pitch angles:

The term outside the parentheses represents deflection 8 based

on the torsion of a straight bar, Equation 196, while the frac-

tion involving c represents the effect of the spring index. For an

index of 3 this fraction is .963 which means a deflection about 3.7

per cent less than that figured from the usual formula in Equa-

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tion 196. For an index of 4 the deflection will be about 2 per

cent less.

The charts of Figs. 78 and 79 which apply to round wire

helical springs may also be used for an approximate calculation

of loads and deflections in square wire springs at given stresses.

It is merely necessary to calculate the load and deflection at

the given working stress in the corresponding round-wire spring,

i.e., one having the same outside coil diameter, number of turns

and a wire diameter equal to the average side of the square

cross section. The loads thus found are multiplied by the factor

1.06 and the deflections by .738 to find those for the square wire

spring at the given stress. For best accuracy, however, Equa-

tions 198 and 200 should be used instead of the charts mentioned.

Large Pitch Angles; Exact TheoryApplying the more

exact theory in a similar manner as outlined in Chapter II to

6,+&.+2a,

(199)

(200)

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS

211

a square-wire section, the following more exact formulas have

been developed7. These take into account the effect of pitch

angle a.

Maximum shear stress is

4.8Pr cos a

t = X

.62( )tan:a

/ a \ / a V 1 / a \3 V 2p /

2p J

(201)

where pr/cos3a. Where the index c=2r/a>3 and a<10

degrees, this equation may be expressed as

. (202)

where K' is given by Equation 197 or Fig. 104.

If a is between 10 and 20 degrees and c<3, the following

expression for maximum torsion stress holds:

Fig. 105 Section of helical

spring coiled from square wire

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lends to become trapezoidal in

form after coiling

Fig. 106Helical spring coiled

flatwise from rectangular wire.

Effect of bar curvature com-

plicates exact calculation

7These equations were derived by Goehner, loc. cit.. Page 271, using methods

similar to those diseussed in Chapter II.

212

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

4.8PrcosaT 1.2 .56 1

a3 1 c c2 J

The bending stress am which occurs as a result of the

pitch angle may be calculated using curved-bar theory, taking

the bending moment equal to Pr sin a and using a similar pro-

cedure to that used in Chapter II. The bending and torsion

stresses a,n and th1 may then be combined in a similar way

to get the maximum equivalent shear stress. In general, for

practical springs this equivalent stress will not be greatly dif-

ferent from the maximum torsion stress t,.

A more accurate expression for calculating the effect of

pitch angle on deflection may be derived in a similar way as

was done for round wire springs, Equation 51. The analysis

shows that the deflection 8 is given by

= ^' (204)

where S= deflection of square-wire spring figured from

the usual formula, Equation 196, and

COS a G

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., = 1- 1.69- sin a tan a (205)

.31 cos* a E

1 + ^T~

It will be seen that this equation is similar to Equation 51

for round-wire springs. For example, if c=3 and a=10 de-

grees, the calculated value of from Equation 205 is .97, which

means that the deflection will be about 3 per cent lower than that

calculated by neglecting the pitch angle and curvature effect.

RECTANGULAR-WIRE SPRINGS

An exact calculation of rectangular-wire springs is compli-

cated if the effect of bar curvature in increasing the stress is

considered. This is particularly true if the spring is coiled flat-

wise as in Fig. 106.

Small Pitch AnglesWhere the long side of the cross sec-

lion is parallel to the spring axis and where the ratio b/a is

between 1 and 2.5 as in Fig. 102, an approximate expression

for shearing stress (for small pitch angles) is:

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 213

r^K'Pr^Sa) (206)

where K' is obtained from Equation 197 or the curve of Fig.

104 using c=2r/a. Where b/a is between 2.5 and 3 this

equation will give results accurate to within a few per cent for in-

dexes c>4; when c is between 3 and 4 the error may be as

much as 7 per cent.

Where the long side of the rectangle is parallel to the

spring axis (Fig. 102) and Z>>3a, an approximation for stress8 is

3 P(2r+a)

2- ^.63*," (207)

Formulas based on elastic theory have also been developed

for calculating stress in rectangular-bar springs". It should be

noted that the maximum torsion stress in a rectangular bar under

torsion is normally at that midpoint of the long sides of the

rectangle. This will also be true where the bar is coiled in the

form of a spring of large index. For smaller indexes, however,

the maximum stress tends to occur at the inside of the coil be-

cause of curvature and direct shear effects. Thus two opposing

effects here tend to come into play. Where the spring is coiled

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flatwise, Fig. 106, the peak stress may occur either on the short

or on the long sides depending on the spring index and the

ratio b/a.

Charts for Calculating StressFor practical calculations of

stress in rectangular bar springs the curves of Fig. 107, based

on those calculated by Liesecke" from Goehner's equations for

stress in rectangular bar springs may be used.

Referring to the dimensions shown on the sketches in Fig.

107 the maximum shearing stress t, in the spring is given by

r,-g Pr_ (208)

abVab

where a and b are sides perpendicular and parallel to spring

axis, respectively, and r = mean coil radius, /J = a factor to

be taken from Fig. 107 depending on the ratio a/'b or b/a and

"Liesecke, Zeit. V.D.I., 1933, Vol. 77, Page 892.

*Licsecke, loc. cit., Page 425.

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214 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 215

on the spring index c=2r/a. Each curve represents a given

spring index. Interpolation is used for intermediate values of c.

It should be noted that in this case b always represents

the side of the section parallel to the axis of the spring; hence,

it may also be the short side.

Example; As an example of the use of the chart of Fig.

107 for calculation of maximum stress in a rectangular-wire

spring, a spring is coiled flatwise as indicated on the figure.

Fig. 108Curve for factor C, for rectangular bar springs

Letting o=%-inch, b = %-inch, a/b=2, r=1.5 inch, c 2r/a

=6, load P = 300 pounds, from Fig. 107 for a/b=2 and c=6,

/?=5.88. Hence the maximum stress t, becomes

-0 Pr -

abVab

5.88(300)1.5_

60,000 lb/sq in.

Calculation of DeflectionsTo calculate deflections in rec-

tangular-bar springs having large indexes (say greater than 8),

the following formula, based on torsion of a straight bar of

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rectangular section, will yield results accurate to within a few

per cent where the pitch angle is not large:

a=-

19.&Pr>n

Ga' (b -.56a)

(209)

216

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

In this formula, b represents the long side and a the short

side of the cross section.

A more accurate formula for rectangular wire springs of

large index is the following1"

2*Pr*n

where

C"=5[~r ~ .209a(tanh +-004) ] (211)

If b/a> 2.7 this factor reduces to

C=aJ(6/3-.21a) (212)

Where the long side of the rectangle is parallel to the

spring axis as in Fig. 102, Equation 210 will yield results ac-

curate to within a few per cent even for indexes as low as 3,

the accuracy increasing with the spring index. If higher ac-

curacy is desired, the chart of Fig. 109 should be used.

Where the spring is coiled flatwise as in Fig. 106, Equation

210 will also give results accurate to within a few per cent, for

spring indexes greater than five. In the case of such springs

for the smaller indexes, and for larger indexes where higher

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accuracy is wanted the following equation may be used1:

2*Pr'n

5 . (213)

GC"

where C, is a factor depending on b/'a and is given by the

curve of Fig. 108. The term C" is given by Equation 211 or

Equation 212. It is seen that the right side of Equation 213

is equal to the corresponding term in Equation 210 divided by

a factor C2 where

C21

Where the spring index c=3 and b/a=4, C2=1.18, i.e.,

'"Goehner, loc. cit., Page 271. It is assumed that the pitch angle is under 12

degrees.

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 217

the results given by Equation 210 for such cases may be around

18 per cent in error. For large values of c the factor C be-

comes practically unity and Equations 210 and 213 become

identical to each other.

The calculation of deflection in rectangular-wire springs

for small pitch angles may be simply carried out by the use of

the chart11 of Fig. 109. In this case the maximum deflection

is given by

"Lieseeke, V.D.I., 1933, Page 892.

Fig. 109Curves for calculating deflections in rectangular-wire helical

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springs (Based on charts by Lieseeke, VDI, 1933 P. 892)

218

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where the constant 7 depends on the ratio a/b or b/a, Fig. 109.

In using this equation b is taken as the side parallel to the spring

axis and a the side perpendicular thereto. If the spring is

Fig. 110Semicoil of scjuare-wire helical spring in position

in testing machine

coiled flatwise, the ratio a/b is taken, while if it is coiled edge-

wise a ratio b/a is taken.

Example: A spring is coiled flatwise with a = %-inch,

b = %-inch, r=1.5 inch, index c = 2r/a=6, P=300 pounds,

number of active turns n5, G= 11.5X10" pounds per square

inch (steel). From Fig. 109 the constant 7=6.7 for a/b = 2,

c 6. From Equation 214,

8Pr>n 6.7X8X300X3.37X5 . ,

S = y = = 1.51 inch.

a-b'G MX^X11.5X10

In certain instances, it has been the practice in spring

design to use a value of modulus of rigidity G for rectangular-

bar springs different from that used in circular-bar springs of

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the same material. Since there is no good reason why the

modulus of rigidity should be different for springs of the same

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 219

material, this probably has been done to compensate for inac-

curacy in certain commonly used empirical deflection and stress

formulas for rectangular bar springs. Comparisons12 of some of

these formulas used in practice with the more exact theory for

springs of large index show considerable errors up to 100 per

cent, depending on the ratio b/a. It is the author's opinion

that the formulas given here will yield more satisfactory results

for the calculation of such springs than will the empirical form-

ulas which have, at times, been used in the past.

Large Pitch AnglesAn exact calculation of stress in rec-

tangular-wire springs with large pitch angles is complicated and

will not be discussed here. However, an approximation suffi-

w 4000 8000 12000 16000 20000

SHEARING STRESS, LB /SQUARE INCH

Kig. IllLoad-stress curves for semicoil, c = 3.07

ciently accurate for most practical purposes may be obtained

by using the chart of Fig. 107 and neglecting the pitch angle.

For calculating deflections for rectangular-wire springs the

following approximate expression takes pitch angle into ac-

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count'":

C.G *' * (215)

l3See author's article in Machine Design, July, 1930 for further details of this com-

parison.

,3V.D./., Vol. 76, Page 271.

220

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The factor is expressed by

(216)

SHEARING STRESS, LB /SQUARE INCH

Fig. 112Load-stress curves for semicoil, c 4.14

C" is given by Equation 211 or 212 and EI = flexural rigidity of

the wire cross section about an axis parallel to the spring axis.

TESTS ON SQUARE-WIRE SPRINGS

To check the stress formula, Equation 198, for square-wire

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springs some strain measurements were made on semicoils cut

RECTANGULAR-WIRE COMPRESSION SPRINGS 221

from actual square-wire springs. The strain measurements were

made in the same manner as those carried out on round-wire

springs, Chapter IV. A semicoil was cut from an actual square-

wire helical spring and two arms were welded on as indicated

in Fig. 110 which represents the semicoil in position in a testing

machine. The eyebolts shown have spherical points so that the

coil is under a purely axial load as is the case in a complete

spring axially loaded. The Huggenberger extensometer used to

measure stress is also shown in position on the inside of the

coil where the maximum stress occurs. Shearing stresses plotted

against load are represented by the full lines in Figs. Ill and

112 which show the results of two tests on two coils, one of in-

dex 3.07 and the other of index 4.14. For comparison, dashed

curves representing the stress calculated by the more exact

formula, Equation 198, are also shown. It may be seen that the

results calculated from this more exact expression agree well

with the test results. For comparison a curve representing the

stress calculated by the ordinary torsion formula for square

wire, Equation 194, (which neglects curvature effects) is also

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given. In both cases this latter curve shows considerable devia-

tion from the test curve.

APPLICATION OF FORMULAS TO STATIC

AND FATIGUE LOADING

It should be noted that the formulas for stress given in

this chapter for square and rectangular bar springs are based

on elastic conditions. Where fatigue loading is involved the

formulas should give the maximum stress range which is of

primary interest. However, for static loading these formulas

neglect the effects of plastic flow with resultant increased

ability of the spring to carry load. In such cases an analysis

similar to that of Chapter V for round wire would be required;

this is, however, beyond the scope of this book. In the absence

of more detailed information, use of rectangular-bar formulas

which neglect curvature and direct shear (Equation 206 taking

K' = 1) would probably be justified where static loading only

is concerned.

CHAPTER XIII

VIBRATION AND SURGING OF HELICAL SPRINGS

In the usual calculation of stress and deflection in helical

springs, it is tacitly assumed that the load is applied (or the

spring compressed) at a slow rate1 so that additional dynamic

stresses due to impact or vibration do not occur. In most prac-

tical spring applications this assumption is probably realized

with sufficient accuracy. There are a large number of applica-

tions, however, where dynamic effects due to surge or vibration

Courtesy, Chrysler Corp.

Fig. 113 Automotive valve

spring and gear assembly

are of great importance. The additional vibratory stresses thus

set up must be taken into account by the designer if fatigue

failure is to be avoided. The most important example of such

JBy a slow rate is meant one in which the time of application of the load is

large compared to the natural period of vibration of the spring.

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222

VIBRATION AND SURGING

223

applications is the aircraft or automotive engine valve spring.

A sectional view of a typical automotive valve spring and

gear is shown in Fig. 113, while a sketch of a typical valve-gear

drive showing the arrangement is shown in Fig. 114a.

SurgingA typical valve-lift curve showing valve lift plotted

against time is shown in Fig. 114b. This latter curve also rep-

resents the compression of the end of the spring (beyond a

(a)

Fig. 114Schematic valve spring and gear for

internal combustion engine

given initial value) plotted against time. It is clear that, if

the engine speed is high, a sudden compression of the end of

the spring will cause a compression wave to travel along the

spring which will be reflected from the end, the time for the

wave to travel from one end of the spring to the other being

dependent on the natural frequency of the spring. This phe-

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nomenon of wave travel along a spring may easily be demon-

224

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

strated by taking a long flexible spring, such as a curtain rod

spring, and holding it stretched between the two hands. If one

end is suddenly moved by moving one hand, a compression or

extension wave will be seen to travel back and forth along the

spring. This is essentially the same as surging of valve springs.

Another interesting application of dynamically loaded

springs is the crank-type fatigue testing machine shown in Fig.

100, Chapter XI. Where machines of this type are to operate at

high speeds, spring vibration should be considered.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

ResonanceIn the design of springs subject to a rapid

reciprocating motion (such as valve springs), it is important

to avoid, in so far as possible, resonance between the frequency

of the alternating motion of the end of the spring and one of

the natural frequencies of vibration of the spring. Usually the

lowest natural frequency is of the most importance. For a spring

compressed between parallel plates the first mode of vibration

(corresponding to the lowest natural frequency) will consist of

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a vibratory motion of the middle portion of the spring with the

ends remaining stationary. The second mode of vibration (cor-

responding to a higher frequency) will have a node (or point

of zero motion of the coils) in the middle of the spring, while

maximum motion of the coils occurs at points V\ and % of the

length distant from a given end of the spring. The natural

frequencies corresponding to these modes of vibration may be

calculated by methods discussed later.

Principal FrequenciesFor example, if a spring is subject

to a reciprocating motion by means of a simple crank arrange-

ment as indicated in Fig. 115, provided the ratio r/l between

crank radius and connecting rod length is not too large, the ex-

pression for the spring displacement from its position at top

dead center is given with sufficient accuracy by the equation2:

y= (r + ) - r(cosut + cos 2wt*J (217)

In this w is the speed of the crank in radians per second

"Den Hartog, Mechanical Vibrations, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1940, Page

209, derives this equation.

VIBRATION AND SURGING

225

(<o=wN/SO where N=speed in revolutions

per minute).

This equation shows that for springs sub-

ject to oscillation by means of a simple

crank there are two principal frequencies

with which to be concerned:

1. Fundamental frequency of rotation as rep-

resented by the cos o>t term of Equation 217.

2. Frequency twice this value represented by

the cos ZvA term of Equation 217.

Thus to avoid trouble from resonance,

the spring should be stiff enough so that

its lowest natural frequency, calculated

from Equation 236, is considerably higher

than twice the frequency of rotation of the

crankshaft.

Where a spring is deflected by a cam as

in valve springs, the valve lift curve yf(t)

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(Fig. 114fo) is not a simple sine function

consisting primarily of one or two terms as

in the case a crank but instead a compli-

cated function, which may be assumed to

consist of a large number of sinusoidal

terms (a Fourier's series). Thus the ex-

pression for valve lift y may be written as

follows:

Fig. 11.5Helical

spring subject to

reciprocating mo-

tion

y=f(t)=c+C\sin (U-\-<t>i)+Ci sin (2wt+<t>:) +

.. . +cv sin (Mt+^)+ * (218)

Thus the motion of the end of the spring may be considered

as a fundamental wave having a circular frequency w equal

to 22T times the camshaft speed in revolutions per second, on

which is superimposed harmonics of 2, 3, 4 ... . times this fre-

quency; the amplitudes of these harmonics are c,, c3, c> . . . .

For purposes of analysis each of these harmonics may be as-

sumed to act independently. In practice harmonics as high as

the twentieth may have to be considered.

226

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Surge StressesIn general, it should be noted that the

amplitudes of motion of these higher harmonics, represented by

the terms c c2, etc., decrease as the order of the harmonic

increases1. Usually it will be found difficult to avoid resonance

within certain engine speed ranges between one of the higher

harmonics and a natural frequency (usually the lowest) of the

spring. When this takes place, severe vibration or surging occurs

due to resonance effects and this may increase the stress range

in the spring by 50 per cent or more. This is true even though

the amplitude of the particular harmonic in resonance may be

relatively small, since there is a large magnification of the

motion under such conditions.

To reduce stresses due to such resonant vibrations in valve

springs several methods are open. In the first place the natural

frequency of the spring may be as high as possible so that

resonance will occur only for the higher order harmonics (which

are usually of lower amplitude). Hence an improvement is ob-

tained since the stresses set up by resonance with these higher

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harmonics are not as great as those set up by resonance with

lower harmonics of greater amplitude.

Another method of reducing surge stresses in valve springs

is to shape the cam contour so as to reduce the amplitudes of

the harmonics which are of importance in the speed range with-

in which the engine is to be used. For example, it might be

found that for an engine with an operating range from 2000 to

3000 revolutions per minute the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth

harmonics are in resonance with the lowest natural frequency

of the valve springs in this speed range. Hence a cam contour

such as to give a low value for these harmonics would be

of advantage in this case. In many cases it is possible by a

change in the cam contour to reduce the magnitudes of the

harmonics to low values within certain speed ranges4.

By reducing or varying the pitch of the coils near the ends

of the spring, an improvement often may be obtained. The

reason for this is that if resonance occurs with one harmonic,

these end coils will close up thus changing the natural frequency

-'The numercal values of I he amp';tudes of the various harmonics may be de-

termined by harmonic analysis for any given valve lift curve.

4This is further discussed in "Schwinffungen Schraubenfoermigen Ventilfedem"

by A. Hussmann, Dissertation, T. H. Berlin, published bv Deutschen Versuchsanstalt

fner Luftfahrt, Berlin-Adlershof. 1938.

VIBRATION AND SURGING

227

of the spring. This tends to throw it out of resonance'. Friction

dampers, consisting of a three-pronged device with the prongs

pressing against the center coils of the spring have also been

used to damp out resonant oscillations".

EQUATION FOR VIBRATING SPRING

To calculate natural frequency and vibratory characteristics

of a spring it is first necessary to derive the differential equation

of motion. To do this, an element A (shown cross-hatched)

Fig. 116Helical spring com-

pressed between parallel plates

of the helical spring in Fig. 116 compressed between the two

flat plates B and C is considered. It is assumed that when the

spring is not vibrating, the element A of length ds, is at a dis-

tance x from the left end of the spring. The active length of

the compressed portion of the spring is taken as /, while the

effect of pitch angle will be neglected. The deflection of the

small element A from its mean position (or position when the

spring is at rest) at any time t will be designated y. If wd:/4

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is the cross-sectional area of the wire, 7 the weight of the spring

material per unit of volume and g the acceleration of gravity,

the mass of the element A is -rrdrtds/Ag and the force required

to accelerate the element will be

3Dte Federn, by Gross and Lehr, Page 115. published by V.D.I., Berlin, 1938.

'.The Surging of Engine Valve Springs, by Swan and Savage, Sp. Rep. No. 10,

Dept. of Sci. & Ind. Research, London.

228

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

ird-yds ff-y

K= - ,i (219)

This follows from the equation force equals mass times accelera-

tion since the acceleration of this element is d2y dt2. The par-

tial derivative is used since y is a function of both s and t.

The change in y in a distance ds will be (dy/ds)ds. For

a complete turn this change will beA(/=27i-r dy/ds where r

mean coil radius and the total force P acting at a distance x

will be, from the ordinary spring deflection formula, Equation 7,

Gd'Ay Gd' dy

P -= :i2r (220)

64r3 64r' ds

In this G is the modulus of rigidity.

The change in the force P in a length ds will be (dP/ds)ds,

and this will be the net force F(, acting to accelerate the ele-

ment A. Thus by differentiation of Equation 220, this force be-

comes

ft- ^*s= (!". *y.dx (221)

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ds 32 r2 as"

Damping ForcesIn addition there are damping forces

present due to various causes including:

1. Internal hysteresis in the spring material

2. Air damping

3. Dumping due to friction in the end turns

4. Damping due to loss of energy in the supports.

An exact method of taking all these sources of damping

into account would be hopelessly complicated. For mathemati-

cal convenience the damping force is assumed proportional to

the velocity of mo'ion. This means that, if c is the damping

force per unit length of the wire per unit of velocity, the damp-

ing force Fa is

Fd=c-y-ds (222)

dt

This force opposes the elastic force Fi Hence, from equilibrium,

VIBRATION AND SURGING

229

or substituting Equations 219, 221 and 222 in this and divid-

ing by ds

,dPy y i r Gd< f'-y dy

= c (223,)

Ag dt2 32 r- ds2 ds

Since s=2irrnx/l where I = active length of spring, and

n the. number of active turns

dy I dy d-y I- a2y

: = and =

ds Zirrn dx ds' 4w2r2n2 dx-

Thus by substitution of these values in Equation 223 and re-

arranging terms, the following differential equation is obtained:

^ + 26^. = a^_ (224)

dt2 dt dx'

where

W=*-^-d2nry = weight of active part cf spring (225)

Gd,

= =spring constant (226)

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64r"n

='\ (227)

b= w (228)

In this the term b is a measure of the equivalent damping

in the spring. In general b will vary with such factors as kind

of material, amplitude of motion, design of end turns, rigidity

of support, and can only be determined by actual tests on vi-

brating springs7. If the damping is zero, b = 0 and Equation

224 reduces simply to

= o"-^- (229)

dt' dx2

This is the same form as the well-known equation for longi-

'See for example article by C. H. Kent, Machine Design, October, 1935, for a

report of such tests. Also references of footnotes 4 and 6.

230

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

tudinal wave transmission in prismatical bars, a being the veloc-

ity of motion of the wave along the bar*.

NATURAL FREQUENCY

To calculate the natural frequency of a spring, it is per-

missible to neglect damping since the small amount of damping

present in actual springs does not affect the natural frequency

appreciably. Hence for this purpose the simpler differential

equation (229) may be used. To solve this equation, the in-

stantaneous deflection y at any point of the spring is assumed

to be the product of two functions, one a function of x only,

and the other a function of t only. Thus,

y=4>(x) +(t) (230}

where </> (x) and i/<(f) are functions of x and t respectively. Then

d'y d'J, ,T-y d>* = d> (x); lL (t)

dt1 dp dx- dx1

Substituting these in Equation 229,

dt2 dx'

or

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1 rfV _ a2 d2*

<l>(t) dl2 ~ <t>(x) dx-

This equation can only be satisfied if both members of this

equation are equal to a constant, say w2. Then

~+V(i)-0 (231)

Cp<t> u>J*Cx)

+=-^ = 0 (232)

dx2 a-

Solutions of these equations are

yKO = A,sin ut+Btcos at (233) -

o>X tax

<t>(x) = A.sin \-B2cos (234)

aa

TimoshenkoVibration Problems in Engineering, Second Edition, Page 309, Van

Nostrand.

VIBRATION AND SURGING

231

where Au A.,, B B, are arbitrary constants depending on the

boundary conditions of a given problem.

By substituting Equations 233 and 234 in Equation 230 a

solution is obtained which satisfies the differential Equation

229. This solution is

(wX <ttX \

A&in .+ B,cos J

aa/

Spring Ends FixedIf both ends of the spring are as-

sumed as fixed or clamped, this means that regardless of the

value of f,

y=0 for x=0; y=0 for x=l.

The first of these conditions requires that B., = 0, while the

second requires that sin wl/a=0. This means that the following

relations hold:

=jr, 2jr, 3ir etc.

or

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Tra 2ira 3wa

u,-, -r, etc.

Since to = 2wf where / is a natural frequency of the spring,

these equations show that the natural frequencies are in the

ratios 1:2:3, etc.

Using the value of a given by Equation 227, the expression

for the natural frequency of the spring (in cycles per second)

becomes

w = m kM

'2t 2 II W

where m=l, 2, 3 .... is the order of the vibration, i.e., m=l

for the first mode, 2 for the second mode, etc.

Using the expressions for the spring constant k and spring

weight W given by Equations 226 and 225, the lowest natural

frequency, m= 1, becomes

232

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

2*r2/i y 32y

d J Gg

(236)

This lowest frequency is usually of most importance in practice.

The equation shows that for a given material the natural

frequency of a helical spring is proportional to the wire diameter

and inversely proportional to the product of the coil diameter

and the number of active coils. For the usual steel springs where

G= 11.5X10" pounds per square inch and t = .285 pounds per

cubic inch, the formula for lowest natural frequency reduces to

the simple expression

One Spring End FreeFor a spring with one end free and

the other clamped, the lowest natural frequency would be equal

to that of a similar spring twice as long but with both ends

clamped. For such a spring Equation 237 may be used if the

number of turns is taken as twice the actual number in the

spring.

ExampleAs an example of the use of these equations in

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calculating natural frequency, assuming a steel spring clamped

at both ends, with d=.3-inch, r 1-inch, n=6 and using Equa-

tion 237, the lowest natural frequency becomes

In the second mode of vibration the spring frequency will be

double this or 350 cycles per second.

One Spring End WeightedFor a spring with a weight

hanging on its end as shown in Fig. 117, the lowest natural fre-

quency of the system may be calculated as follows: It is known

that where a mass is deflected by a certain amount 8 under its

own weight (the mass of the spring being small compared to

that of the weight), the natural frequency in cycles per second

may be taken as'1

3510d

cyclas per second

(237)

3510X.3

TT):x6

= 175 cycles per second.

(238)

Den HartogMechanical Vibrations, Page 45.

VIBRATION AND SURGING

233

In the case where the mass is supported by a helical spring

of appreciable weight as indicated in Fig. 117 it has been found

that, if the weight of one third of the spring is added to that of

the mass W the calculated deflection may be used for figuring

the natural frequency. If W is the spring weight, Equation 225,

and k the spring constant in pounds per inch deflection, the fre-

quency in cycles per second becomes

SURGING OF ENGINE VALVE SPRINGS

Since most aircraft and automobile engines run at variable

speeds, as mentioned previously, it is practically impossible to

avoid resonance between one of the higher

harmonics of the valve lift curve and a

natural frequency of the spring at some

speed of operation. When this occurs the

amplitudes of vibration and the resulting

stress in the spring depend primarily on

the amplitude of the harmonic which is in

resonance and on the amount of damping

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in the spring (represented by the damping

term h in Equation 224).

To obtain the additional stress in the

spring, due to this vibration it is assumed

that one end of the spring in Fig. 116, say

end C, is oscillated through an amplitude

represented by the function

Fig. 117Weight

on helical spring

y0=csin wj

(240)

In this c represents the amplitude of the particular harmonic

of the valve lift curve which is in resonance with a natural fre-

quency / of the spring, usually the lowest. The circular fre-

quency of this particular harmonic is taken as w = 2wf. The

amplitude of motion and stress due to this harmonic may be

determined by solving the differential Equation 224 in conjunc-

tion with the proper boundary conditions. This stress is then

superimposed on the static stress due to the valve lift as indicated

234

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

in Fig. 118. Here the dot-dash line represents the stress due to

the valve lift only, the maximum value being t. On this is

superimposed a higher frequency vibration represented by the

stress rv which is due to resonance with a given harmonic of the

valve lift curve.

To solve Equation 224 for the steady state condition, the

deflection y at any point x from the end of the spring is as-

sumed given by

y = F(x)sin aj (241)

and =2ir/. The function F(x) is a function of x only. This

method neglects the transient oscillations due to sudden speed

changes which are of no concern here. The assumption repre-

sented by Equation 241 is justified since, for a forced vibration

of a given frequency, all parts of the spring must vibrate at this

frequency.

The boundary conditions are: For x=0 Fig. 116, y=0 re-

gardless of time t since one end of the spring is assumed fixed

in space. For x=l, y = csin wt since the other end of the spring

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is assumed to have a harmonic motion of amplitude c produced

by the harmonic of Equation 218 which is in resonance with the

natural frequency.

A solution of the differential Equation 224 satisfying these

boundary conditions has been obtained by Hussmann10.

For small values of damping such as occur in practical

springs the solution reduces to the relatively simple form:

y-=^sin(2*U+4>) (242)

OA

where ymax=maximum amplitude of motion in the spring and

<f> is a given phase angle. From this solution, for small damp-

ing, the maximum variable stress obtained is

r = r.,^ (243)

In this the stress rst is the static stress induced by compress-

ing the spring by an amount c. Tin's equation indicates that

10Sce reference of Footnote 4.

VIBRATION AND SURGING

235

the variable stress t,, Fig. 118 is inversely proportional to the

damping factor b and directly proportional to the frequency f

and the stress t(. The latter, in turn, is proportional to the

amplitude c of the particular harmonic in resonance.

Tests have shown that the damping factor h in actual springs

may be low enough that a magnification of 100 to 300 times occurs,

i.e., t, may be around 100 to 300 times t8c It has also been

found1" that the damping factor b varies with the amount of

AVERAGE STRESS DUE

TO VALVE LIFT.

TIME t

Fig. 118Superposition of vibration stresses on stresses

due to direct compression for valve spring

initial compression of the spring and that it increases with the

amplitude c of the harmonic in resonance. This is reasonable

since at low amplitudes the internal damping of the spring ma-

terial due to hysteresis will be lower. Also for extremely high

initial compressions, higher values of b are found, resulting from

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damping caused by impact between turns. At medium initial

compressions, values of the damping factor are lower while, at

very low compressions, these values again rise because of damp-

ing due to clashing and lifting of the end turns from the sup-

ports.

Values of b varying from about 1 sec-1 at lower amplitudes of

vibration to 10 sec-1 at the higher amplitudes have been ob-

tained in tests'", most values being between 2 and 4.

As an example of the use of Equation 243 assuming that

the lowest natural frequency / of the spring is equal to 200

cycles per second and that the camshaft speed is 1200 revolu-

tions per minute, this means that resonance between this natural

236

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

frequency of the spring and the tenth harmonic of the valve lift

curve may occur. Assuming also that tests on springs under

similar conditions have shown a damping factor b = 5 sec-1,

Equation 243 shows

2*X200r

t, = = Zalr,,

If to is the stress due to compression of the spring by an amount

equal to the valve lift, and if the alternating stress due to the

tenth harmonic of the lift curve is, for example, .002t (as found

500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200

CAMSHAFT SPEED, R.P.M.

Fig. 119Typical shape ol resonance curve for valve spring.

Order of harmonic noted at each resonance peak

from harmonic analysis), the alternating stress due to resonance

with this harmonic will be 251X.002 t,< or about .5t. This

means that, in this case, the stress range will be increased to 2

times its value with no vibration.

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From Fig. 118 the total stress range in the spring is

rr-r.+2r, (244)

If t1 is the stress due to initial compression of the spring with

the valve in the closed position, the range in stress will be from

a minimum value tmin t1t to a maximum value tm*=t1 +

t + tv. By comparison with endurance diagrams such as those

shown in Chapter IV the relative margin of safety of the spring

against fatigue failure may be estimated.

A typical resonance curve similar to those obtained by actual

VIBRATION AND SURGING

237

tests on valve springs is shown in Fig. 119. In this curve the

amplitude of oscillation of the middle coil of a valve spring is

plotted against camshaft speed. It is seen that this curve con-

sists of various peaks spaced at intervals, each peak being due

to a definite harmonic in the valve lift curve (indicated by the

number shown). Thus the peak marked 10 is due to the tenth

harmonic of the valve lift curve, i.e., to a vibration frequency

of 10 X 20 = 200 cycles per second for a camshaft speed of 1200

revolutions per minute. The amplitudes of these peaks vary since

the amplitudes (values of the c's of Equation 218) of the various

harmonics are different.

DESIGN EXPEDIENTS

In the design of springs subject to rapid reciprocating mo-

tion, such as valve springs, the following expedients are often

helpful:

1. Use of spring with a high natural frequency

. 2. Change in pitch of coils near end of spring

3. Avoidance, where possible of resonance between natural fre-

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quency of the spring and an exciting frequency

4. Change in shape of cam so as to reduce the magnitude of the

harmonics of the valve lift curve within certain speed ranges

of practical importance.

By using the methods given, in conjunction with test re-

sults, estimates of stress ranges in actual springs under vibra-

tion conditions can be made and in this way the margin of

safety against fatigue failure determined.

CHAPTER XIV

INITIALLY CONED DISK (BELLEVILLE) SPRINGS

Where space is limited in the direction of load application,

the use of initially coned disk springs is frequently of advantage.

Such springs, which are also known as Belleville springs, consist

essentially of circular disks of constant thickness and have an

initial dish, Fig. 120. By a suitable variation of the ratio h/t

between initial cone height and disk thickness, it is possible to

obtain load-deflection curves having a wide variety of shapes as

indicated by the curves of Fig. 121. For example, referring to

this figure, a load-deflection characteristic for a ratio h/t 2.75

has the shape represented by Curve A. Such a shape may be

desirable when a snap-acting device is being designed. By re-

ducing the ratio h/t to 1.5 a load-deflection curve similar to

Curve B is obtained. This type of spring, known as the "con-

stant load" type shows a considerable range of deflection within

which the load is practically constant. Such a characteristic is

highly desirable in many applications, such as for example,

* /

Fig. 120Initially-coned disk (Belleville) spring

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where a constant load applied to a gasket is necessary. By vary-

ing h/t a variety of intermediate shapes, Fig. 122, is possible.

A typical example of the application of such springs is the

spring washer used in copper oxide rectifiers to provide a con-

stant pressure for holding a stack of rectifier disks together.

Other applications include springs for producing gasket pres-

sure in special types of capacitors and in condenser bushings

for electrical equipment. In such cases, springs with the char-

acteristic shown by Curve B Fig. 121 have been found advantage-

238

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239

Fig. 122Curves for finding deflection factor C, for initially-coned disk

springs. Load-deflection characteristic curves will be similar

240

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

ous since such springs will supply approximately constant gasket

pressure for a considerable variation of deflection due to tem-

perature change or to other causes. Such deflection changes

may be produced for example by temperature changes as a con-

y}

STACKED N PARALLEL

STACKED IN SERIES

Fig. 123Methods of stacking initially-coned disk springs

sequence of the difference in expansion coefficients between the

porcelain insulation and the copper parts of electrical equipment

of this type.

Initially-coned disk springs may be stacked in series or in

parallel as shown in Fig. 123. By stacking the springs in paral-

lel a higher load is obtained for a given deflection; stacking the

springs in series means a larger deflection at the given load.

However, if springs are stacked in series, ratios of h/t between

cone height and thickness greater than about 1.3 should not

ordinarily be used since instability or snap action is apt to occur,

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and an irregular load-deflection characteristic will then result.

THEORY

The application of the mathematical theory of elasticity to

the calculation of initially coned disk springs is extremely com-

plicated'. However, a practical solution of the problem may

be obtained by making the assumption that during deflection,

,See for example, Theory of Plates and ShellsS. Timoshenko, McGraw Hill,

1940, Page 475.

CONED DISK SPRINGS

241

radiai cross sections of the disks rotate without distortion as

shown by the dotted outline in Fig. 124c. If the ratio r/r, be-

tween outer radius and inner radius is not too large, tests show

that such an assumption will yield sufficiently accurate results

for practical computation, at least as far as deflections are con-

cerned. In addition, calculations on flat circular plates with

central holes have also been made on the basis of this assump-

tion, i.e., that radial cross-sections rotate without distortion,

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and these have yielded good results when compared with those

242

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of the elastic flat-plate theory2. For example, comparison be-

tween the exact and approximate solutions1 shows that where

the ratio r/ri between outer and inner radii is not over 3 (which

includes most practical cases) the error in deflection made by

using this method is not over about 5 per cent, while the error in

stress is under 9 per cent.

The solution for the initially coned disk spring which fol-

lows is based on the assumption of rotation of radial cross sec-

tions without distortion and is due to Almen and Laszlo'. These

investigators also show some deflection tests which indicate

that the assumption is satisfactory for practical use.

Considering a section of an initially coned disk spring cut

out by two radial planes subtending a small angle d6, Fig. 124a,

under the action of the external load, a radial cross section ro-

tates about point O as indicated by the dashed outline of Fig.

124c. Considering an elementary strip of length dx at a distance

x from O, the deformation under these assumptions consists

essentially of a radial displacement dr and a rotation <f>, the lat-

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ter being the total rotation of the cross section about point O

during deflection. The displacement dr causes a uniform tan-

gential strain in the element dx (the small differences ip radial

distance from the axis of the spring between the upper and

lower portions of the element dx are here neglected). The ro-

tation <f> produces a tangential bending strain which is zero at

the neutral surface and a maximum at the upper and lower

surfaces of the spring. The stresses due to the movements dr

and the angle <t> produce moments about point O which resist

the external moment.

The stress due to the radial displacement dr may be calcu-

lated as follows: The mean circumferential length of the ele-

ment dx before deflection is

h (cx cos p)d9

where p is the initial dish angle. After deflection this length

becomes

^The exact solution is described in Chapter XV.

3A. M. Wahl and G. Lobo, Jr."Stresses and Deflections in Flat Circular Plates

with Central Holes", Transactions A.S.M.E., 1930. A.P.M. 52-3. Also S. Tiinoshenko

Strength of Materials. Van Noslrand, Part 2, 1941, Page 179.

"The Uniform Section Disk Spring", Transactions A.S.M.E.. 1936, Page 305. A

similar solution for radially tapered springs is given by W. A. Brecht and the writer

"The Radially Tapered Disc Spring", Transactions A.S.M.E., 1930, A.P.M. 52-4.

CONED DISK SPRINGS

243

It=[cx cos(#-4>)\d9

The change in length is

l,-h=de[x cos(p-<t>)-cos 0|

or

li lt=de[x sin 0 sin <t> x cos 0(1 cos 4>)] (245)

It will be further assumed that the angles fi and <f> are small

(as is the case in practical springs) so that

<t>"

cos 0 = 1; sin 0 = 0; sin 4> = <t>; lcos 4> ~^

The last expression for 1cos <f> is obtained by using the cosine

series and neglecting terms above the second degree.

Using these in Equation 245,

h-k=d8x<t>(p - (246)

The unit elongation in the tangential direction will be,

using Equation 246,

(-t)

. - V- (2>

Z, cx

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Neglecting the effect of the radial stresses which are as-

sumed to be small, the stress is obtained by multiplying this by

E/(l/i2) where E=modulus of elasticity and /x=Poisson's

ratio. Thus the stress due only to the radial motion dr becomes

(E 1' (248)

where the negative sign signifies compression. The factor 1>r

is used because lateral contraction or expansion of elements of

the strip are prevented; this expression may also be obtained

from the known formula for calculating stresses from strains in

two-dimensional states of stress5.

'See, for example, TimoshenkoStrength o* Materials, 1941, Part 1, Page 52.

244

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

The moment about point O due to the tangential stresses

acting on the element dx will be

dM' = oi'tdxdex sin (0 - <t>)

or taking sin (/?<t>)~/3<t> for small angles and using Equa-

tion 248:

EtdHtf-*) (p - ) x'dx

(1-V)(c-*)

Integrating this from xcr to xcr,,

r. -I

Etdeaf}-*)^ - -f-)r . ,

M,' = - '-- - 2c(r0-r.)+rfog, | (249)

1 ir I i

To calculate the tangential stress due to the bending strain

set up by the rotation <f> of the element dx, Fig. 12Ab, it is neces-

sary to multiply the change in curvature in the tangential direc-

tion by the plate rigidity" which is

Et'

D - (250)

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12(1-ms)

This corresponds to flexural rigidity in the case of beams. Let-

ting k2 be the change in curvature of the element during deflec-

tion, then the bending moment acting on element dx due to this

change in curvature will be

Et3

dM,= DKrfx = -c^x (251)

12(1/*-)

The initial tangential curvature of the element in the un-

loaded disk is approximately sin fi/(cx) while the curvature

in the deflected position is sin (/J<)/cx. The change in cur-

vature is then

sin 0sin(f)<t>) <t>

2= =

cx cx

Using this in Equation 251,

"Timoshenko, loc. eit., Part II, Page 120, gives a further discussion of plate rigidity.

CONED DISK SPRINGS 245

Et^dx

ofA/2= (252

The tangential stress a" at the surface will be this value

dM divided by the section modulus of the element dx which is

t2dx/6. Hence using Equation 252,

6rff-" (253)

fdx 2(1-m')(c-*)

At a distance y from the neutral axis (taken positive in an

upward direction) this stress will be

Ed>y

(1-m')(c-x)

where the negative sign is used to signify compression.

The component of the moment dM2 which acts in a radial

direction will be, using Equation 252,

2M," = 2rfM2 = -

2 12(1-M')(c-x)

Integrating this from x=cr to x = cn, the moment

M," due only to the angular motion of the elements of the sec-

tion becomes

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, Et34>de rc~r> dx = EtWelogin./r.)

1 12(1-m') Jc ra c-x 12(1-,.')

The total moment about point O thus becomes, using Equa-

tions 249 and 255,

M,=Aft'+M1'

or

-I-)* + -- log. i| (256)

The radial distance c from point O to the axis of the disk is

246

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

found from the condition that the sum of all forces over the

cross section must be zero, because there is no net external

force acting in the plane of the disk. Since the bending stresses

a" have no force resultant, only the stress a/ due to the radial

displacements need be considered. Thus

Xc-r,

o,'tdx = 0

or using Equation 248

r-r' xdx

Integrating this and solving for c

c = (257)

fog,

Substituting Equation 257 in Equation 256,

ra"-rr 2(r-r,)2 . (r-r,)2

. 2 r , r X

l-n" I log, log,

(I- ri r i -I

->('-t>+ i2i<: s (258)

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This moment must be equal to the external moment on the

sector d6 (Fig. 124a) which is

Ml 2r

Solving for P,

P=^L_ (259)

(r-r,)d9

Taking

CONED DISK SPRINGS

247

8 being the total deflection of the spring and using Equation

258 in Equation 259,

^TT^b-^-^ (h ~ -2->+<H . (26)

where

C'" = ^loS'a(-^)' <262>

A calculation shows that C, = C." for practical purposes.

Hence the load becomes

"^7[-('-T> + ']

. (263)

Values of C, are plotted as functions of the ratio a=r/ri

in Fig. 125. From Equation 263 it may be seen that the load P

is nonlinear function of the deflection 8. By using this equation,

load-deflection characteristics may be determined for various

values of h and t, Fig. 122. The application of Equation 263

1.0 L5 20 2 5 30 3.5 40 4.5 50

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Fig. 125Curve for determining factor C2

248

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

in practical calculations is facilitated by the method described

on Page 249.

The resultant tangential stress at a point at a distance x

from O will be the sum of the stresses a,' and a". Hence, using

Equations 248 and 254

aJnc-x) K'-iM (264)

The maximum stress al at the upper surface of the spring

will occur when xcr, and t/=t/2. Taking these values to-

gether with p h/(rr,), <f>=S/(rr<) and substituting the

value of c given by Equation 257 in Equation 264 this maximum

stress (j1 becomes

"-o^K-tM (265)

where

CV-(-pi- - 0-r (266)

ft'-Jfcp" (267)

The stress a., at the lower inner edge of the spring is ob-

tained by taking y 1/2 in Equation 264. This yields

- o^K'-t)-*'] (268)

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In these equations a negative value signifies compression, a

positive value tension.

PRACTICAL DESIGN

To simplify the application of Equations 263 and 264 in

the practical design of initially coned disk springs the following

procedure may be used. For determining the load-deflection

characteristic of the spring. Equation 263 may be written:

CONED DISK SPIIINGS

249

P=C,Cr

where

c'-7i-^[(T-T)(7-i)+1]

. (2691

. (270)

The factor Cl thus depends on the ratios h/t and S/t while

the term C, depends on (x r/Ti only and may be taken from

the curve of Fig. 125 or from Equation 261.

To facilitate practical computations, values of C, have been

plotted as functions of S/t for various values of h/t in Figs. 122

- "DISC THICKNESS

Fig. 126Cur\es for deflection factor C, for Belleville springs

h/t = ratio initial cone height: thickness

and 126. The curve of Fig. 126 may be used to obtain greater

accuracy for the smaller values of h/t.

It should be noted that the curves of Figs. 122 and 126 also

represent load-deflection characteristics for springs having vari-

ous ratios h/t between initial cone height and thickness. This is

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true since the load is directly proportional to the constant Cr

Since these curves are independent of the ratio r r, (and hence

250

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of Cz) it follows that the shape of the load-deflection charac-

teristic can be changed materially only by altering the ratio h/i

between initial cone height and disk thickness. At h/t 1.414,

shown dotted in Fig. 126, the curve has a horizontal tangent

-20'

Fig. 127Curves for determining stress factor K, for

Belleville springs, o = ro/r( = 1.5

and for a considerable range the spring rate is very low. For

/j/f=1.5 there is an even greater range of low spring rate but

in this case the load drops slightly after reaching a maximum.

When h/t reaches a value of about 2.8 the load drops below zero

at the larger deflections, so that permanent buckling of the spring

may occur. Interpolation for intermediate values of h/t may be

used with sufficient accuracy for most practical purposes.

To facilitate the calculation of stress a, Equations 265 and

268 may be written as follows

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(271)

CONED DISK SPRINGS

251

where Kl has the following value:

*-^K-f-i)H >

If the positive sign is used before the constant C..' the stress in

the upper inner edge of the spring is obtained, while using the

negative sign yields the stress at the lower inner edge. It is

thus seen that the stress is a function of r/r(, h/t and h/t.

As an aid in practical computations, values of Kt have been

plotted as functions of the ratio h/t for various values of h/t in

Figs. 127 and 128. For ratios a = r/r( equal to 1.5, the curves

of Fig. 127 apply, a positive value of K1 representing tension

Fig. 128Curves for determining stress factor K, for

Belleville springs, a = ro/r, = 2 to 2.5

stress, a negative value representing compression. It was found

that within the range shown by the curves, for values of h/t

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between 1 and 3 the maximum stress will be compression at the

252

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

upper inner edge where 8<2/j. For deflection 8 equal to 2h, the

tension in the lower inner edge equals the compression in the

upper and for 8>2/i, the tension in the lower edge becomes the

maximum stress. This is shown by the upper curve for h/t=l,

i.e., when 8/t=2 or h 2t then the compression and tension

stresses at the two edges become equal, and for 8/<>2 the upper

curve yields higher values. For most practical cases where h/t

is between 1 and 3 the maximum stresses will be obtained by

using the lower groups of curves. Interpolation may be used

for intermediate values of h/t. In doubtful cases where 8>2fi,

the stress should be checked by using Equation 271. A further

discussion of the evaluation of stress in these springs is given on

Page 259. Fig. 129 shows distribution of stress in a typical case.

Illustrative ExamplesExample 1: To illustrate the use

of the curves of Figs. 126 to 128 in practical design a spring

is to be designed for the following conditions: The spring is to

be used in a gasket application where the load is to be held

approximately constant at 6000 pounds so that the type of load-

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deflection curve desired is that for h/t 1.5, Fig. 121. The

space available will permit using an 8%-inch outside diameter

spring. The deflection of the spring may vary between and

V4-inch at the design load and the maximum compression stres?

calculated by Equation 271 is to be limited to 200,000 pounds

per square inch. This value has been found by experience to be

safe provided the load is static or repeated but a few times7.

Taking t = 4Va inches, ri=2V& inches, a=r/ri2h from

Equation 271, ^F=K1E^l/r, where K,=6.7 from Fig. 128 for

h/t1.5, this being the maximum value. Solving this for t and

taking a=200,000 pounds per square inch compression,

From Fig. 126 for h/t=1.5, C, = 1.68 on the flat part of the

curve and from Fig. 125 for a = 2, C2=1.45. From Equation 269

the load per disk will be

P=C,CV

= 1300 lb.

Tor a further discussion of working stress see Page 25U.

CONED DISK SPRINGS

253

Since 6000 pounds is desired, it will be necessary to use 5

springs in parallel which will give approximately the right load.

From Fig. 126 it is seen that for h/t=l.o, C, is approximately

constant from 8/f .75 to 5/f=2.1. Since f = .134 this means

the load will be approximately constant from S~.75(.134)=.l-

inch to 8 = .28-inch which is about what is required. If the maxi-

STRESS ON

Fig. 129 Approxi-

mate distribution of

stress along radius for

constant-load type of

disk spring

STRESS ON

LOWER SURFACE

(TENSION)

mum deflection is Vi-inch, the maximum value of S/f will be

.25/.134 or about 2. From Fig. 128 for 8/f=2 the factor Kt will

be about 6.4 instead of 6.7 which means that the calculated

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maximum stress will be slightly less than 200,000 pounds per

square inch. To reduce the calculated load from 6500 to 6000

pounds the thickness of the disk may be reduced about 2 per cent.

Example 2: A curve such as that shown in Fig. 122 for

fr/f=2.5 is desired for a snap action device to operate in such

a way that, when the load reaches a certain point represented

by the peak on the curve, the system becomes unstable and a

large deflection occurs with resulting snap-action. Also, a

maximum load of about 520 pounds is desired, space is avail-

able for an 8-inch diameter disk, and a stop is provided so that

the spring may deflect %-inch before coming against the stop.

It is desired at V-t-inch deflection when the spring is against the

stop it will be represented by the point on the curve of Fig. 126

for h/t = 2.5 corresponding to 8/f=3. Since at maximum de-

flection 8 = ,A-inch this means that t = .25/3 = .0833-inch and

h=2.5 X.0833 = .208-inch. Assuming a=2, from Fig. 128,

K, =12.5 for 8/<=3, h/t = 2.5. From Equation 271 on Page 250,

solving for r obtains the following relation:

254

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Taking o-= 180,000 pounds per square inch (compression),

f=.0833-inch and solving, r=3.8-inch say 3% inches. From

Fig. 125 for a=2, C2 = 1.45 and from Fig. 122 the maximum

value of Cl (corresponding to maximum load) for h/t=2.5 is

4.6. From Equation 269 the peak load is

Ef

Pm0z C\C2 =675 lb.

To

This load is too high since 520 pounds were desired. To get a

lower peak load, since the latter from Equation 269 increases

as ft (other things being equal) the thickness may be reduced

in the ratio (520/675)'.' = .935. Thus f=.0833X.935=.078-

inch. For the same shape of curve h/t must be kept the same

(or 2.5) so that h=2.5X.078=. 195-inch. At Y4-inch deflection

8/f will be .25/.078 = 3.2 which will be somewhat beyond the

point on the curve for 8/f=3, which in this case is permissible.

Also the maximum stress will not be changed appreciably since

from Fig. 128 for h/f=2.5 and 8/f=3.2, the factor K, is practic-

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ally the same as for 8/f=3. From Fig. 122 for 8/f=3.2, h/t=

2.5, C=1.3. Since C,=4.6 at the peak load, the load when the

spring is against the stop will be reduced to 1.3/4.6 X 520=147 _

pounds.

SIMPLIFIED DESIGN FOR CONSTANT-LOAD

Where the ratio h/t =1.5, a load-deflection characteristic

of the "constant-load" type is obtained as indicated by Curve B

of Fig. 121 and the curve for 7i/f=1.5 of Fig. 126 such that the

load is constant within 5 per cent from a deflection 8=.8f to

8=2.25f. Such springs, which are of particular value in many

practical applications, may be designed in a simple manner"

provided the maximum allowable stress is given. Letting D be

the outside diameter of the spring, then the constant load P and

the required thickness f to obtain this load are given by

P=CZ)' (273)

'This method wis suggested by R. C. Bergvall of the Westinghouse Company.

CONED DISK SPRINGS

25S

and, for the thickness,

(274)

where the constants C and K depend on the maximum allowable

stress and on the ratio D/d or (r/r() between outer and inner

diameters. Values of these constants may be taken from the

Fig. 130 Curves

for finding load P

in constant - load

Belleville springs.

These curves apply

only if the thick-

ness t is chosen

in accordance with

Fig. 131 and if E

is 30x10 pounds

per square inch

5000 120000 140000 160000 180000 200000

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MAX. STRESS LBySQ IN AT DEFLECTION <T=2.25 t-

curves of Figs. 130 and 131. It should be noted that the thick-

ness t must always be held to the value given by Equation 274

to obtain the constant-load characteristic. In all cases the maxi-

mum deflection was assumed as 2.25 times the thickness.

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

In Table XXVI values of constant load P, thickness t, and

maximum deflection 2.25f are tabulated for maximum stresses

of 200,000, 150,000, and 100,000 pounds per square inch, and

for ratios a = D/d varying frqm 1.25 to 2.5. It is assumed that

Table XXVI

Design DataConstant Load Belleville Springs*

Spring

Thickness

Maximum

Deflection

Constant

Load

Maximum Stress

(amax) (./,. fn.)

200,000

(D/d)

f 1.25

\ 1.5

D/80

D/67.4

D/63.8

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(0

(5 = 2.25<)

D/35.5

D/29.9

D/28.3

(P)

14.5 D2

18.5 D3

17.4 D2

I 2.0 to 2.5

f 1.25

1.5

D/92.5

D/77.8

D/73.7

D/41

8.15 D!

10.4 D3

9.8 D2

150,000

D/34.6

12.0 to 2.5

D/32.7

100,000

f 1.25

1.5

D/113

D/95.4

D/90.2

D/50.2

D/42.3

D/40

3.62 D3

4.62 DJ

4.35 D3

2.0 to 2.5

'Modulus of elasticity taken as 30 x 10* lb./sq. in.

the springs are steel for which the modulus of elasticity E may

be taken as 30X10" pounds per square inch.

The constants C and K of Equations 273 and 274 as well as

the constants of Table XXVI may be calculated as follows:

From Equation 271 it is possible to solve for the thickness t

taking r = D/2:

D \aC

'2~\ K,E ~ K

- (275)

where

CONED DISK SPRINGS

257

Using t = D/K from Equation 274 in this,

P= i=CD2

K>

where

.(277)

4CIC,E

X4

This is the same as Equation 273.

For a given value of a and a given stress, the factor C. may

he obtained from Fig. 125 while K will be found from Equation

I2Q

-MAX. DEFLECTION =2.25t-

III!

-t =$ WHERE t = SPRING THICKNESS.

D=OUTSIDE DIAMETER

60L

00000

120000 140000 160000 180000 200000

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KMX. STRESS,La/SOJN. AT DEFLECTION <5" = 2.25t

Fig. 131Curves for determining thickness for constant-

load Belleville steel springs

276. The value Cl will be approximately that given by the flat

part of the curve for h/t=1.5, Fig. 126. Using these values the

constants C and K of Figs. 130 and 131 and the constants in

Table XXVI were computed.

258

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

TESTS COMPARED WITH THEORY

A large number of tests have been carried out by Almen

and Laszlo* on initially coned disk springs. These tests, made

on springs of various proportions, show curves similar to those

of Fig. 121 and indicate that the method of calculation devel-

oped is sufficiently accurate for most practical purposes. How-

ever, the final equations are not exact and, in practice, devia-

tions in deflections as much as 10 to 15 per cent may be ex-

pected between test and calculated values. For highest ac-

curacy in individual cases, tests should therefore be carried out.

DeflectionIn Fig. 132, a load-deflection characteristic

obtained on a stack of four disks in parallel is shown. These

disks have a ratio h/t of about 1.45 and show clearly the constant-

load characteristic. The initial large deflection was due to

J-

11

a*

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DEFLECTION IN INCHES

Fig. 132Deflection test of stack of four steel Belleville springs, r = 4V4.

r, = 1%, h - .212, t - .148

flattening out of irregularities between the disks. In spite of the

fact that the surfaces of the individual springs were slightly

oily, a considerable hysteresis loop between the loading and

unloading curve was obtained, indicating considerable friction

between the disks. By using a group of springs in parallel the

load is increased approximately in proportion to the number

of springs.

StressAlthough the approximate method of calculation

CONED DISK SPRINGS

259

used appears to yield good results as far as deflections are con-

cerned, it may be expected that deviations between test and

theory will be greater for stress than for deflection. Compari-

son of the results as calculated by the theory were made by

Laszlo' with the results of some tests carried out by Lehr and

Table XXVII

Comparison of Test and Calculated Stresses

Distance from

Measured

Calculated Stress

Inner Edge

Stress

(Eq. 271)

(mm)

(lb./$q. in.>

(Ib.Isq. in.)

70,500

63,900

66,700

56,000

62,200

45,900

54,500

10

41,400

49,000

20

29,200

35,300

30

22,100

25,200

40

16,450

17,450

50

11,750

11,350

60

8,450

6,400

TO

5,630

2,520

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69,200

Granacher10 on relatively thick Belleville springs. The results

of these strain measurements, obtained with a special extensom-

eter on a 2 millimeter gage length, are compared with the re-

sults of the theory in Table XXVII.

In the case of the spring tested by these writers the deflec-

tion was not large. Such good agreement as Table XXVII indi-

cates should not be expected for large deflections relative to the

thickness. It may be expected, however, that even in such

cases, approximate results may be obtained.

WORKING STRESSES

Static LoadingWhere initially coned disk springs are

subject to static loading, or to a load repeated a relatively few

times during the spring life, experience shows that stresses of

200,000 to 220,000 pounds per square inch as calculated by

Equation 271 may be used even though the yield point of the

steel from which the spring is made is only 120,000 pounds per

square inch in tension1'. Although this stress seems extremely

^Discussion, Machine Design, May, 1939, Page 47.

"Forschung, V.D.I., 1936, Page 66.

260

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

high, it should be remembered that it is localized near the upper

inner edge of the spring, Fig. 129. Consequently, any yielding

which may occur will redistribute the stress and allow the re-

maining parts of the spring to take a greater share of the load.

Then, too, the peak stress is compression in the usual applica-

tion which also makes for a more favorable condition. Also due

to presetting operations in the manufacture of the spring,

residual stresses of opposite sign are induced and these reduce

the maximum stress below that calculated.

Another way of evaluating working loads for static loading

in the case of the constant-load type of spring is to figure the

stress in the following way: Assuming that the spring is flattened

out, the moment about a diameter of the vertical reaction acting

on an outer half-circumference of the spring will be (P/2)2r/ir

(since the center of gravity of a semicircle of radius r is at a

distance 2r/V from the diameter). The moment of the vertical

load acting on an inner half-circumference about a diameter

will likewise be (P/2)2r, V. The net moment M acting on a di-

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ametral section of the spring will be the difference between these

values. Hence

. Af = (r-r.) (278)

This moment will set up bending stresses across the di-

ametral section. If these are figured from the ordinary beam

formula, thus neglecting the stress-concentration effects of the

hole in the spring, the expression for maximum stress >r becomes

(taking the value of M given by Equation 278)

GM 3 P (279)

2(r-/\)t2 a- t2

This follows since the section modulus of a diametral section is

2(rr,)t76.

Example: As an example of the use of Equation 279: A

constant-load spring has a calculated stress of 200,000 pounds

per square inch figured from Equation 271 and has an outside

diameter D of 2 inches. From Table XXVI the constant load

will be 18.5 D274 pounds for D/d1.5. The thickness will

be D. 67.4 = 2. 67.4 = .0297-inches. Using P = 74 pounds and

CONED DISK SPRINGS

261

t=.0297-inch in Equation 279 the calculated stress (neglecting

stress concentration) becomes

'=-Xllv =80,000 lb./sq. in.

t(.0297)2 'H

Thus it is seen that when figured in this way (i.e., stress

concentration being neglected) the stress is only about 80,000

instead of the 200,000 pounds per square inch figure obtained

by the more exact theory. This explains why springs designed

on this basis stand up satisfactorily under static loads since the

80,000 pounds per square inch figure is well below the tension

yield point for spring steels. In the case of the constant-load

type of spring statically loaded, it may well be that the stress

as figured from Equation 279 will yield a better picture of the

ability of the spring to carry load. However, the more exact

theory which takes stress concentration into account should

be used where fatigue or repeated loading is involved.

Fatigue LoadingWhere fatigue loading of initially-

coned disk springs is involved, considerably lower stresses than

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those permissible for static loading may have to be used. So

far, there appears to be little fatigue test data available by

means of which the fatigue strength of such springs may be

evaluated. A rough estimate of the fatigue strength of this type

of spring may be made, however, as follows:

Assuming that the spring operates within a given range of

deflection, the range of stress in the upper and lower surfaces of

the spring may be found by using Equation 271. Assuming no

residual stresses present in the usual case the range in the upper

inner edge will be from an intermediate value to a maximum in

compression, while that in the lower inner edge will be from

some compression to a tension, or from an intermediate value to

a maximum in tension. Residual stresses present in actual springs

will modify these conditions.

In general, a range involving tension stress will be more

dangerous than one involving compression stress only. However,

in the usual case the calculated compression stress will be be-

yond the compression yield point of the material. Hence, yield-

ing of the material will actually occur either on first loading or in

the presetting operation, with the result that tension stresses will

262

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

be set up at one end of the range. In practice, therefore, it appears

reasonable to use as a basis for design the maximum range of

stress in the spring (which will usually be a range in compres-

sion) as figured from Equation 271. The actual stress range in

the spring would then be compared with the endurance range

of the material.

Since most initially coned disk springs are heat treated after

forming, some decarburization of the surface material will no

doubt be present. Hence the endurance range to be used for

comparison should be that obtained on specimens with unma-

chined surfaces. As indicated in Chapter XXIII this latter value

may probably be half or less of the value obtained on machined

and ground specimens.

This method of evaluating the fatigue strength of Belleville

springs should be considered as very rough and the final answer

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can only be obtained by actual fatigue tests.

CHAPTER XV

INITIALLY-FLAT DISK SPRINGS

As in the case of initially coned or Belleville springs, initial-

ly flat springs are of advantage where space is limited in the di-

rection of load application while at the same time high loads are

required. In contrast to the Belleville spring (which may be de-

signed with a wide variety of load-deflection characteristics) the

initially flat spring will have a load-deflection diagram which is

linear for small deflections and concave upward for large ones.

In the latter case the spring becomes stiffer as the load increases.

Such springs may be made with a cross section of constant

thickness as shown in Fig. 133 or with a radially-tapered cross-

section as shown in Fig. 1341. As- will be shown later the use of

the latter section (where the thickness is proportional to the

radius) results in a more uniform stress distribution and hence

a more efficient utilization of the spring material. Such springs,

either of the constant-thickness type or of the radially-tapered

type may be stacked as shown in Fig. 135. By this means the

spring flexibility may be increased without reducing the load-

carrying ability. At the same time, the spring assembly is en-

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abled to take lateral as well as vertical loads.

RADIALLY-TAPERED SPRINGS

An important application of the radially-tapered disk spring

is shown in Fig. 136, which represents a sectional view of a com-

mutator as used in large railway motors. The function of the

disk spring in this case is to supply a constant pressure for hold-

ing the commutator bars together, while at the same time allow-

ing sufficient flexibility so that expansions due to temperature

changes may take place without producing excessive stress in

the v-rings or commutator bars. For this purpose, the disk spring

is well suited.

Approximate TheoryFor an approximate calculation of the

t See paper by W. A. Brecht and the author, "The Radially Tapered Disk Spring",

Transactions A.S.M.E., 1930 A.P.M. 52-4.

263

261

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

stress in radially-tapered2 disk springs, as in the case of the ap-

proximate solutions previously discussed, it will be assumed

that radial cross sections of the spring rotate during deflection

.P

Fig. 133Constant thickness, initially-flat disk spring

without distortion. Comparison with a more exact solution as

given below indicates that this' approximation is satisfactory for

calculating deflections provided the ratio r/r( between outer

and inner radii is not over 3. For stress, the agreement between

>

r,

\t

rt

A^

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(t2Kr)

Fig. 134Radially-tapered disk spring

exact and approximate theory is not so good where the ratio

r/r( exceeds 1.4. By using the approximate method, however, it

is possible to calculate the nonlinear load-deflection characteristic

for large deflections; this is far more complicated if the exact

method is used.

To apply the approximate method, an element of a radially-

3 In this discussion, by radially-tapered spring is meant a spring having a thickness

proportional to the radius at any point.

FLAT DISK SPRINGS 265

tapered spring is assumed cut out by two neighboring radial

planes subtending a small angle d6 as shown in Fig. 137, the

complete spring being shown in Fig. 134. Under the load P the

spring will deflect through an angle <f> as shown by the dashed

Fig. 135Method of stacking radially-tapered disk springs

outline, Fig. 137b; the rotation is assumed to take place about

some point O at a distance c from the spring axis.

Considering an element G initially at a distance x from O

and at a distance y from the neutral surface (or middle plane)

of the spring, the initial length of this element is

(c-x)de

After deflection through an angle <f> the final length becomes

l2=(cx cos 4>y sin <t>)d9

The change in length of this element due to deflection of the

spring is the difference between these expressions. Thus

h h=de[y sin <)>x(l cos $)]

Assuming that <f> is small, sin and 1cos <f> = <f>-/2,

approximately. Thus

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The unit elongation c will be this difference divided by the

266 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

initial length Zl or

_ ly-U _ 2.

l, CX

The stress a will be equal to the unit elongation multiplied

by the modulus of elasticity E (effects due to lateral contraction

being neglected). Thus using this equation, the stress becomes

Fig. 136Disk spring used in railway motor commutator

angle <f> is small, i.e., if the spring deflection is small, the term

x<f>2/2 may be neglected and the stress will be given by E<f>y/r.

The maximum stress am will then occur when y = t/2=kr. Thus

E<t,(kr)

--E<t>k

(281)

Under the assumptions made, it is seen that for small deflections

the maximum stress is constant along a radius for this type of

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spring.

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

267

The moment of the forces acting on the element G, Fig. 137,

about an axis through O perpendicular to the paper will be

dM

aydxdydd (282)

This expression is obtained by taking the radial component of

the tangential forces and multiplying by the lever arm y.

The total moment acting on the slice cut out of the disk will

be the integral of these elementary forces over the cross-section,

x being taken between the limits cr and cu and y being

taken between the limits k(cx) and -\-k(cx).

Substituting the expression for a given by Equation 280 in

Equation 282 the total moment becomes

M'=de J j t

(283)

This moment M" must be equal to the moment due to the

external load P which is

M'=de

P(r-r<)

(284)

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2*

This equation simply states that the moment acting on the

element subtended by two planes at an angle d6 will be d6/2ir

Fig. 137Deflection of section, radially-taperecl disk spring

times the total moment due to the load P which is P(rr().

Substituting the value of M" given by Equation 283 in

268 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Equation 284, integrating and solving for P,

P=^E4,k (r.-r.O'+^-W+r^+r.')] (285)

The maximum deflection 8 is given by

= <t>(r<,-ri) (286)

It will be seen that these two equations determine P as a

function of 8. Solving Equation 286 for and substituting in

Equation 285,

p-^r[T-+Tw+v<+r<1)] (287)

For sma/Z deflections, Equations 281 and 287 may be reduced

to the following simple forms

-^T (288)

=C'P (289)

Eh'

where

K' =' (290)

a'+a+l

5.73 / a-1 \

c'~ br-rr) (291>

and a=r/n.

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For Zarge deflections, Equation 287 may be written

Eh'S r 1.5i2 -i ,.

P= H (292)

C'rJ L h-(a2+a + l) J

or

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

289

Since the term in the brackets is usually not greatly different

from unity, a first approximation for 8 will be obtained by using

Equation 289. Using this value in Equation 293, a corrected value

of deflection 8 will be obtained. This corrected value may again

be used in Equation 293 for a second approximation, if desired.

This process will be found to converge rapidly. Another method

of procedure is to assume a value of 8 and calculate the corre-

sponding value of P from Equation 292. By assuming several

values of 8 the load-deflection curve may be plotted readily.

Exact TheoryTo check the accuracy of the results ob-

tained by the approximate method developed previously, it is

desirable to apply the more exact flat-plate theory to this prob-

lem. The differential equations3 which must be satisfied at any

radius r of a flat circular plate which is loaded by a load P uni-

formly distributed along its edges, are

m1+d"1''m'+--f =0 (294)

dr Ar

m =I>( ^ fM*) (295)

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m2=D(^+M-^-) (296)

In these equations:

m, = Bending moment in a radial direction at radius r, inch-pounds

per inch length

m. = Bending moment in tangential direction at radius r, inch-pounds

per inch

n = Poisson's ratio

id = DcHection of plate at radius r

<t> = dw/dr= Slope in radial direction at radius r

D = Plate rigidity at radius r

D -- k,r* where it, = 2Ek73 (1 - A') for a radially-tapered disk where

t = 2*r.

Differentiating Equation 295 with respect to r gives

dm, , / (Ps n d<t> <ub \ / dd> d>\

8 A derivation of thpse differential equations is given by TimoshenkoStrength of

Materials, 2nd Edition, Vol. 2, Page 135, Van Nostrand; also by A. NadaiKtastische

Flatten, Berlin, J. Springer, Page 52.

270 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Substituting expressions for m2 and dmjdr given by

Equations 295, 296, 297 in Equation 294 yields the following

expression:

d'<f> 4 d<t> , <t> P

dr* r dr r3 2T*,r

The complete solution to this equation4 is

0 - W ' )+C^-'i' " > - (298)

6irk,(n-\)r2

where

*Vt-*

The boundary conditions are: For r=r, m^O since no

radial moments act along the edge; hence from Equation 295,

\ dr r /r-r

For r=r<, mL=0 and

(+"f)-

These two equations enable the determination of the two

constants C, and C, of Equation 298. These values are

c' ^ rr"1/3rr,-rrl,,r'-"l (299)

ofa'

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P(2-n) p r~"'2 r'~* -rrwr.-

6x*,(l-) (- |- + s + M)

c- ^

6xA,(l-,i) (- - -s + )

where

~iyr, -" - r,-y "'-

a,-oT*

4 The author is indebted to Dr. A. Nadai of the Westinghouse Research Labora-

tories for suggestions regarding the method of integration of this equation.

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

271

The maximum stress in the plate will occur at the inner edge

where r=rf. This will be

6(m,)r_ri

*= (301)

where fb=thickness at inner edge (tb=2kri).

Using Equations 296, 298, 299, and 300, and the derivative

of Equation 298 in Equation 301, and taking r=rf the maximum

stress becomes

"m = K^- (302)

where

Km 12-MA-B) 1-2,

*(!-,.) (--) r(1-) 1'

and

B-(l--|--^)(a--a-W.) + (M-8-_)

Thus it is seen that the factor K depends primarily on the

ratio a=r/ri between outer and inner radius and on Poisson's

ratio n. In Fig. 138 values of K are plotted as functions of the

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ratio a for Poisson's ratio equal to .3, which is approximately true

for steel. However, a considerable change in Poisson's ratio

would affect the values of K but slightly.

Deflection is calculated from the equation

0= - dW- (304)

dr

or, integrating

w=-f<t>dr+C3

Using the value of <f> given by Equation 298 and integrating

the deflection w becomes

272

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

C,r(-"2+'> C,r(-"3-') P

w - ^TT-TT + Cl(305)

1 1 Gwkl(n\)r

The integration constant Cs is determined from the condition

that the deflection w is zero at the outer edge of the plate where

rr. Using Equation 305 this condition gives

CV(-"!+ Cr (-'"-> P

C + : + T-. - -..(306)

.1 1 6rk,(fil)r

+ss

22

Using this value of C, in Equation 305 and taking r r; the

maximum deflection 8 becomes

Pr2

i = C (307)

Etbs

where

a(. + D+a-. 2v/tt

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(---+,)(--)

In Fig. 139 values of the deflection constant C have been

plotted as functions of ar/ri for Poisson's ratio ^=.3.

Values of the constants C, C, K, K' figured by the exact and

approximate methods, Equations 308, 291, 303, and 290, are

listed in Table XXVIII.

An examination of this table shows that for values of the

ratio a between inner and outer diameters less than 3 there is

agreement between C and C within about 10 per cent. This

means that for small deflections (say, less than about half the

thickness) there will be agreement within this percentage be-

tween deflections as figured by the exact and by the approximate

methods. Since 10 per cent accuracy is usually sufficient for

practical calculations, the approximate method may be used in

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

273

most cases for diameter ratios a less than 3. However, the agree-

ment for stress is not so good, since the difference between K

and K' will be over 10 per cent for values of a greater than about

1.4, the values given by the exact theory being somewhat higher

than those given by the approximate theory.

It should be noted that Equations 302 and 307 were derived

on the assumption of small deflections. However, when the de-

Table XXVIII

Constants C, C, and K and K' for Various Values of a

a K K' C V

1 985 .954 .0 .0

1.25 819 .75 .243 .242

1.5 696 .602 .271 .268

2 536 .408 .213 .205

3 382 .22 .110 .098

4 315 .138 .062 .0506

5 280 .092 .039 .0296

flections become large the exact flat-plate theory becomes ex-

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tremely complicated'. An improvement in accuracy for calcu-

lating deflections may be obtained by multiplying Equation 307

for deflection, derived from the more exact plate theory by the

term in brackets in Equation 293. This gives

5=0" - *~ I (309)

[- 1 -

+ f2 ('++1) -

or

For small deflections relative to thickness Equation 309 re-

duces to Equation 307 since the term in the brackets becomes

unity. For large deflections, the equation corrects for the effect

of dish in the same proportion as is done in the approximate

Equation 293.

An investigation" based on the approximate theory shows

that for a given load, outside diameter and stress the deflection

5 Elastiiche Flatten, by A. Nadai, Pade 284 presents a further discussion of this.

8 Reference of Footnote 1 gives additional details.

274

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of the disk spring becomes a maximum for values of diameter

ratios a around 2. Such proportions also result in better condi-

tions for heat treating and forging than disks of larger ratios.

For these reasons it is better in practice to use values of a around

2 unless design conditions dictate otherwise.

Application of FormulasIn the practical use of radially-

tapered springs the load is applied a small distance inside the

edge as indicated in Fig. 140. In such cases it is advisable to

Fig. 138Values for stress constant K for ra-

dially-tapered disk springs

figure the spring as though the load were applied exactly at the

edge. The resulting stress is then multiplied by the ratio

d/(rTi), where dradial distance between points of contact,

to take into account the reduction of stress caused by this effect.

This yields an approximation since the moment per inch of cir-

cumferential length (which is proportional to stress) has been

reduced by this amount. The deflection of the inner edge of the

spring with respect to the outer will also be reduced in the ratio

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d(rr{) but the deflection of the points of load application will

be reduced somewhat more than this or approximately in the

ratio dr/(rri)2. The use of these corrections will improve the

accuracy of the calculation.

As an example of the application in practical calculation of

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

275

the equations given in this chapter: It is desired to determine

maximum stress and deflection for a radially-tapered disk spring

for the railway motor commutator application in Fig. 136. The

dimensions are as follows: r= 9 inches, r(=6 inches, a = 1.5

0.28

Fig. 139Deflection

constant C for radial-

tapered disk springs

rf .Il.Ritin OUtER RADIUS

* r, K*"u INNER RADIUS

inches, (,=% inch. The maximum load P is 90,000 pounds.

From Figs. 138 and 139 or Table XXVIII C = .271 and K-

.696 for a=1.5. Then from Equations 302 and 307,

KP

a = =111,000 lb./sq. in.

S=C

Pr.'

Etb''

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.157- inch

These values should be corrected because in the actual de-

sign the point of load application is Vfe-inch inside the edge as in-

Fig. 140Load is displaced in-

ward from edge in disk spring

dicated in Fig. 140. Thus the distance d=23A inches and rr4 =

3 inches. The corrected value of stress will be 110,000 X 2.75/3 =

101,000 pounds per square inch and the deflection at the points

of application of the load will be . 157 (2.75/3)2 = . 132-inch.

276

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Since these deflections are much smaller than half the thick-

ness it may be expected that the load-deflection characteristic of

this spring will be approximately linear, being modified only by

friction along the edges. By supporting the spring at the neutral

axis by means of a stepped edge (Fig. 136) this friction may be

greatly reduced.

COMPARISONS WITH THEORY

As a check on the theory given in this chapter, some tests

were made using the test arrangement shown schematically in

Fig. 141. In this arrangement, the load was applied in a test-

ing machine through steel cylinders to a heavy ring which ap-

plied the load uniformly around the outer circumference of the

disk spring. The disk spring was supported by a cylinder rest-

STATONARY HEAD OF TESTING MACHINE

FT

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MOVABLE HEAD OF TESTING MACHINE

Fig. 141Arrangement

for testing disk springs.

A = steel cylinder, B

= ring, C = disk spring,

F = cylinder, E = exten-

so(neter, D = dial gage

ing on the lower head of the testing machine. Sufficient clear-

ance was allowed between the edges of the disk spring, the cylin-

der and the ring, respectively, to make certain there would be

no binding during application of the load. In most of the tests

the supporting edge of the ring was beveled as shown, greatly

exaggerated, so that the point of load application was definite.

Huggenberger extensometers, placed along the inner edge of the

spring made possible the measurement of maximum stress. At

the same time it was possible to read the extensometers while the

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

277

spring was loaded. In all cases strain measurements were made

on diametrically opposite sides of the spring to determine whether

or not the load was central. For measuring deflections a dial gage

was used.

Tests were carried out on a total of seven radially tapered

disk springs having outer diameters varying from 3.8 to 4Y* inches,

inner diameters varying from 1% to 2% inches, and minimum

thickness t,, from Vs to % inches.

Typical load-deflection and load-stress diagrams as obtained

on these springs are shown by the full lines of the curves of

Figs. 142 and 143 while the theoretically determined curves

using Equations 302 and 309 (correction being made for the

inward displacement of the point of load application) are shown

by the dotted curves. The stresses were determined from the

strains at the inside edge of the spring where the maximum

stress occurs. (This is also the point where failure starts as

shown by actual fatigue tests). A modulus of elasticity E

30 X10" pounds per square inch was used in converting the

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strain readings to stress.

In all cases, good agreement was found between test and cal-

culated values for stress. At the lower loads for deflection in all

cases the agreement was found to be quite good, but at the

higher loads in some cases there was a small deviation between

test and theory, due probably to the fact that the point of appli-

278

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

bOOO

4000

?3O00

2000

S 1000

Fig. 143Stress test on disk spring A'

cation of the load tended to move inward so that the distance d

(Fig. 140) became less, thus making the spring slightly stiffer

at these loads. However, the agreement in all cases between

test and theory was sufficiently good for most practical purposes.

SPRINGS OF CONSTANT THICKNESS

The initially-flat disk spring of constant thickness, Fig. 133a,

may be analyzed in a similar manner as was done in the case

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of the radially-tapered disk spring.

Approximate TheoryFor an approximate theory7 the as-

sumption is again made that radial cross-sections rotate without

distortion through an angle <f> as indicated by the dotted outline

in Fig. 1336. As in the case of the radially-tapered spring for

small deflections the stress in an element G at a radius r from the

axis and at a distance y from the middle surface of the disk will

be

(311)

for small deflections (Equation 280). The moment of the forces

acting on the element G about an axis through O will be as before

aydxdyd6 assuming that the element G is cut out by two slices at

an angle d6, Fig. 137a. The total moment M" will be the integral

T TimoshenkoStrength of Materials, Part II, Second Edition, Pago 179, Van

Nostrand, 1941.

J.

JES7

0 20000 40000 60000 00000 100000 120000

StRESS L6/S0 IN AT INNER EDGE

FLAT DISK SPRINGS 279

of these elementary moments taken over the area of the section.

Thus

f" f

cx

Integrating and substituting limits

deE+tHog,a ,'

12

Since the total load acting on the spring is equal to P, the

external moment acting on the element will be the same as that

given by Equation 284 for the radially-tapered spring. Equating

the value of M" given by Equation 312 to that given by Equa-

tion 284 and solving for <f>,

- 6P{r~ri) (312a)

TiEtHog,a

The maximum deflection is then

1V

6Pr,

<-t)

This may be written

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PrJ

a=c'; (3i4)

where

C (315)

v log,a

From Equation 311 it is clear that the stress will be a maxi-

mum when i/=/2 and r=r,. Using these values and the value of

</> given by Equation 312a in Equation 311 and simplifying, the

maximum stress becomes

(316)

280

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where

3 a-1

K'~ (317)

7T lOgrat

Exact TheoryThe exact theory for calculating initially-

flat disk springs of constant thickness is based on the known

plate theory1. Letting <f> be the slope at any radius r of a cir-

cular plate symmetrically loaded, then from plate theory the fol-

lowing differential equation must be satisfied:

d24> 1 d<t> <t> Q

dr1 r dr r- D

where

D = Plate rigidity = Et712(l-M:)

M = Poisson's ratio

Q = Shea(ing force per unit circumferential length at any radius r.

For the case shown in Fig. 133 where the load P is distrib-

uted uniformly along the edges

2xr

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<?=-

Using this value in Equation 318 and integrating

Pr / , \ C,r C2

where C1 and C2 are integration constants to be determined later.

If w is the deflection at any radius r, the slope </>=duy'f/r. Inte-

grating Equation 319 with respect to r,

w--^(l8-r-l)-~ ~ CJog.r+C, (320)

The integration constants Cl, C2, C3 are found from the

following conditions: At the outer and inner edges where r=r

and r=r the radial bending moments m, must be zero. From

Equation 295 this means that

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

281

\ dr r Jr.,.

Also when r~r, w=0

These three equations enable the determination of the three

constants C C2, C3 in Equation 320.

From Equation 296 the tangential bending moment m2 per

unit length is

It may be shown that this moment is a maximum when

r=r,; the maximum stress is then

Differentiating Equation 319 and taking r=r( in the result-

ing expressions for </> and d<t>/dr, substituting in Equation 321 the

maximum stress becomes (for ^=.3):

(322)

where

JT-.3343 + Lgiffggg (323)

a2 1

The maximum deflection 8 is obtained from Equation 320

by taking r=r(. This then becomes (for /i=.3)

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where

cW^+^y (325)

\ a- / or21

It will be noted that these expressions for stress and deflec-

tions are of the same form as those obtained by the approximate

method (Equations 314 and 316). Comparisons of the numer-

282

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table XXIX

Stress and Deflection Constants for Disk Springs Values of a

1.2S

1.5

:j

.955

1.10

1.26

1.48

1.88

2.17

2.34

.955

1.07

1.38

1.74

2.07

2.37

.341

.519

.672

.734

.784

.704

.343

.524

.689

.773

.775

.760

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1.18

ical values of C, C, K, K' obtained by the exact and approxi-

mate methods is given in Table XXIX.

Comparison of these values shows that up to a ratio for a of

20 25 10 35

r. _ OUTER RADIUS

* rc INNER RADIUS

Fig. 144Curve for determining constants C and

K for flat disk springs of constant thickness

5, there is good agreement between the exact and approximate

values of the constants8.

For convenience in calculation, values of C and K are plotted

against the diameter ratio a in Fig. 144.

* Paper on "Stresses nnd Deflections in Flat Circular Plates with Central Holes"

by G. Lobo, Jr. and the writer, Transactions ASME, 1930, A.P.M. 52-3 gives a fur-

ther discussion of flat circular plates with various loading and edge conditions.

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

283

LARGE DEFLECTIONS

The exact theory previously discussed for calculating ini-

tially-flat disk springs is based on the assumption that deflec-

tions are small, say, not over half the spring thickness, for rea-

sonably accurate results. Where deflections are large, the exact

theory is too complicated for practical use; however, the ap-

proximate method for initially-coned disk springs Chapter XIV

may be used with sufficient accuracy for most purposes. It is only

necessary to take h=0 (for an initially-flat spring) in Equations

269 and 270. This gives the following expression for the load P:

Et>

P=C,C, (326)

where

C,- (327)

(l-M^t \2f- J

and C, is given by Equation 261 or Fig. 125.

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Values of C1 are given as a function of the ratio S/t between

284

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

deflection and thickness in the curve of Fig. 145. This curve

shows how the deflection curve deviates from a straight line after

the deflection becomes greater than about half the thickness.

The maximum stress may be obtained from Equations 271

and 272 taking /i = 0. This gives:

Ef-

tr-ifi- (328)

r-

where

*'-7i^(Cl'a+c0 (329)

where C/ and GV are given as functions of <xro/rt in Equa-

tions 266 and 267. Values of K, are also given by the curves for

h/t=0 in Figs. 127 and 128 for different ratios of r/r<.

SIMPLIFIED CALCULATION

If it be assumed that a load-deflection characteristic of the

shape shown in Fig. 146 is desired, the calculation of required

spring thickness and diameters becomes simple". By proceeding

in a similar way as was done for the case of initially-coned disk-

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Fig. 146Load-deflection dia-

gram for initially-flat disk

spring with maximum S/t=1.75

S/ DEFLECTION

4 "SPRING THICKNESS

springs (Page 254) values may be calculated for steel springs

This method was suggested by K. C. Bergvall of the Westinghouse Company.

FLAT DISK SPRINGS

285

(modulus of elasticity E=30X10" lb./sq. in.) as in Table XXX.

The deflection at any other load less than the maximum load

(at 8=1.75) may be found by using the curve of Fig. 146.

By using Table XXX a relatively simple method of design for

initially-flat disk springs with a given load-deflection charac-

teristic is obtained. This approximate method involves the as-

Table XXX

Proportions of Initially-Flat Steel Disk Springs9

Maximum

Diameter

Spring

Maximum

Load

Stress. (jm

Ratio

Thickness

Deflection

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(lb./sq. in.) (

tt = D/d)

()

(5 = 1.75()

(8 = 1.75f)

f 1.25

D/80

D/45.7

42D3

200,000 J

1.5

D/67.4

D/38.5

53.8D'

2 lo 2.5

D/63.8

D/36.4

50.5D'

1.25

D/92.5

D/52.8

23.7D'

150,000

1.5

D/77.8

D/44.4

30.1D'

2 to 2.5

D/73.7

D/42.2

28.4D'

1.25

D/113

D/64.5

10.5D:

100,000

1.5

D/95.4

D/54.5

13.4D2

2 to 2.5

U/90.2

D/51.5

12.6D2

For load-deBection curve of Fig. 146 when maximum deflection J = 1.75t.

sumption that radial cross-sections rotate without distortion, but

available data indicate that the results are sufficiently accurate

for most purposes.

CHAPTER XVI

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

Broadly speaking, the term "flat springs" is a generic term

referring to springs of flat strip or bar stock made in a wide va-

riety of forms. Because of the shapes which are possible for this

type of spring, a complete discussion is beyond the scope of

this book. In this chapter only the fundamental principles under-

lying the calculation of the simpler forms of flat springs such as

the flat cantilever spring (Figs. 147 and 148) and their applica-

tion in practical design will be considered. In addition the ef-

fects of large deflections, stress concentration, and combined

axial and lateral loading will also be treated. More complicated

shapes may, however, be analyzed by similar methods.

An advantage of the flat cantilever spring over the helical

spring is that the end of the spring may be guided along a defi-

nite path as it deflects. Thus the spring may function as a

structural member as well as an energy absorbing device. By

making the spring in a particular shape it may be possible to

combine several functions, thus simplifying design. For example,

an automobile leaf spring may be designed not only to absorb

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road shocks, but also to carry lateral loads and, in some cases to

take the brake torque as well.

CANTILEVER SPRINGS

A simple cantilever spring is a flat strip or plate of rectangular

profile and constant cross section as shown in Fig. 147. Assuming

the spring built in at one end and loaded at the other, the maxi-

mum deflection is given by the well-known cantilever formula:

P/3

s=TeT(330)

where /length of spring, E = modulus of elasticity of the ma-

terial and I=moment of inertia of spring cross-section. (J--

bJi3/12 where b = width of spring, h=thickness.)

286

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

287

Fig. 147Simple cantilever

spring of rectangular profile

T~

b,

_I

More exact considerations of the deflection show that if b

is large compared to h (as for springs of clock-spring steel) the

deflection will be given by:

PI3

3EI

d-M2) (331)

where /t=Poissons' ratio. Since for most materials n is around

.3, the deflection given by this equation is about 10 per cent less

than that given by Equation 350. The reason for this difference

lies in the fact that for a spring of relatively great width compared

to thickness, lateral expansion or contraction of elements near the

surface of the spring is prevented, which results in a slightly stiffer

spring than figured from beam theory. This stiffening is taken

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into account by the term (1n2) in Equation 331. In many

practical flat spring applications the deflection will probably be

4A

bo ,

1;

j.

.2 .4

RAtIO ^

Fig. 148Curves for calculating deflections

of cantilever springs of trapezoidal profile

288

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

closer to the value calculated by Equation 331 than to that cal-

culated by Equation 3301.

The nominal stress at the built-in edge O, Fig. 147, is given

by2

6PI

(332)

bohT-

It should be noted that these formulas are based on usual

beam theory which assumes small deflections. The case where

deflections are large will be considered later. Where variable

stresses (fatigue loading) are involved, the stresses must be mul-

tiplied by stress concentration factors which depend on the con-

ditions near the built-in edge. A discussion of this will also be

given later.

Trapezoidal Profile SpringsIn many cases, leaf springs

of the usual shape as shown in Fig. 149 may, for practical pur-

poses of analysis, be considered as cantilever springs of trapez-

oidal profile as shown in Fig. 148. Such a profile makes a more

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efficient use of the material than does the rectangular profile of

Fig. 147. For a given load P the maximum stress is again given

by Equation 332, where in this case b is the width at the built-

in end. Analysis based on ordinary beam theory, however, shows

that the deflections are increased over those obtained in the

simple cantilever spring of rectangular profile by an amount

depending on the ratio b/b between width at the free and built-

in ends, respectively. The analysis shows that in this case the

maximum deflection is given by

PP s

where

3 r1 6 / * \7 3 , *M

"(l-L)' I" ^ w (t - ,*,:)]

and I=moment of inertia at built-in ends. The factor Kl de-

pends on b/bo and may be taken from the curve of Fig, 148. It

1 Page 243 of Chapter XIV gives a further discussion of this correction.

, The nominal stress is obtained by dividing the bending moment by the section

modulus of the minimum or net section.

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

289

is thus seen that the deflection of a trapezoidal profile spring is

equal to that of a rectangular profile spring Pl:</SEI multiplied

by a factor K, varying from 1 for fo/fo=l (rectangular profile) to

1.5 for b/bo=0 (triangular profile). Theoretically the most effi-

cient spring is obtained where b/b = 0 since other things being

equal this gives the maximum deflection for a given value of load.

Practical considerations however, usually dictate a value of b/bn

greater than zero. For cases where b is large compared to the

thickness h it is necessary to multiply the deflection given by

Equation 333 by a factor (1/*2) as explained previously.

Large DeflectionsAs mentioned previously, the beam

theory on which Equations 331 to 333 are based assumes small

2P

Fig. 149Leaf spring is equivalent to a cantilever

spring of trapezoidal profile

deflections relative to the spring length. In some practical cases,

however, the actual deflections cannot be considered small. This

is illustrated by Fig. 150. When the spring is deflected by an

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amount S1 the ordinary theory will hold. However, when the de-

flection is increased to, say, S2 it may be seen that the moment

arm of the load x is considerably less than the length I of the

spring. This results in a decrease in both stress and deflection

from the values calculated from Equations 332 and 333.

To analyze the case where the deflection is large compared

to the thickness, the more accurate mathematical expression for

curvature of the center line of the beam is used. If x is the

distance from the built-in end O of the beam (Fig. 150) and 8

the deflection at this distance, then by equating the curvature

of the beam to the external bending moment divided by EIX,

290

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

the following equation results:

dx'

M-f)T

P(x.-x)

Eh

.(334)

where Ixmoment of inertia at distance x.

Since for a trapezoid the width is a linear function of the

length, for constant thickness the moment of inertia at a distance

x from the end is given approximately by

'-'[' -f(-r)]

Substituting this expression in Equation 334, the following

expression results:

dx-

P(x-x)

(335)

By integrating this equation1 utilizing the boundary condi-

tions which require that at x0, y=0, and dy/dx = 0, the reduc-

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SMALL DEFLECTION

Fig. 150Cantilever spring with deflections

tion in stress and deflection below those calculated from Equa-

tions 332 and 333 may be expressed as functions of the dimen-

sionless quantity c=Pl-/EI and the ratio b/b between width

at end of spring and width at built-in edge. In Fig. 151 are given

some curves based on Equation 335 for estimating the percentage

J See Die Fcdern, by Gross and Lehr, published by V.D.I., Berlin, 1938, Page 133,

for details of method of integration.

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

291

stress reduction in cantilever springs of trapezoidal profile for

various ratios b/b and values of c=Pl2/EIa as compared with

the calculated stress value using Equation 332. Where b/b~0

triangular profile is obtained and, in this case, the stress reduc-

UI4

a.

to.?

TRIANGULAR

RECTANGULAR

! PROFILE.

EI.

Fig. 151Curves for estimating stress reduction

due to large deflections of cantilever springs

tion varies from about 0 to 12 per cent for values of c between 0

and 1. This means that, for example, if c=l and the stress is

computed from Equation 332, the actual stress will be 12 per

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cent less than this. For springs of rectangular profile the varia-

tion is from 0 to 5 per cent within a range c0 to c=l. In Fig.

152, curves are also given to estimate the percentage reduction in

deflection from the value calculated by using Equation 333. For

a range c=0 to c~ 1, this correction varies from 0 to 8 per cent

for the rectangular profile (b/b=l) and from 0 to 18 per cent

for the triangular profile (b/b = 0). It is clear that the correc-

tions become larger as b/b becomes smaller. Although in most

practical applications, these corrections may be neglected, for

highest accuracy particularly where b/b is small, they should be

considered.

ExampleAs an example, to illustrate the practical utiliza-

tion of Figs. 151 and 152, a cantilever spring of trapezoidal pro-

file is assumed to have the following dimensions (Fig. 148): 1=

30 in., 7i = V4-in., b/b = .2, b = 6 in., P=200 lb. The material

is steel with E=30X10 pounds per square inch. For this

value of P the quantity c becomes

292

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

PP

200X(30)JX12

= .77

EIa 30X10"X6X(M)3

From Equation 332 the nominal stress is

6PI

= -= 96000 lb./sq. in.

boh2

However, from Fig. 151, for c=.77, b/b = .2, there is a 6V2

per cent reduction in stress as a consequence of the large deflec-

20

18

16

1-

-J

12

7-

+-

a.

UJ

cr

UJ

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14

TRIANGULAR

PROFILE

^ fay

R E C TANGUL AR

PROFILE

Fig. 152Curves for ttie calculation of large

deflections of cantilever springs

tion. Thus the actual stress is 96000(1-.065) =89,700 pounds

per square inch. From Fig. 148 for b/b = .2, K,=1.31 and the

deflection becomes from Equation 333,

PI'

"3EIa

= 10.1 inches

This deflection should be corrected by the percentage given

on the curve of Fig. 152 for c=.77 and fo/fo=.2 which indicates

that the deflection is over-estimated lOMt per cent if Equation

333 is used. Hence the deflection is corrected by a factor (1

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

293

.105) giving a value 10.1(1.105) =9.05 inches. In addition

since in this case the width b is large compared with the thickness

(bv/t=2A), a further reduction by multiplying by (1/i2)=.91

should be made (as was discussed previously). This gives a final

deflection value of 9.05(.91) =8.25 inches is considerably less

than the value of 10.1 figured by the simple formula of Equa-

tion 333.

SIMPLE LEAF SPRING

In Fig. 149 is shown a sketch of a simple leaf spring loaded

by forces P at each end and supported by a force 2P at the bot-

tom. Neglecting interleaf friction as a first approximation, this

spring may be calculated as a simple trapezoidal spring. If there

are n, leaves of length 21 and width b1 and if there are a total

Courtesy, Baldwin Locomotive Works

Fig. 153Large leaf spring for locomotive

of n leaves, then from Fig. 149, b = nib1 and b=nbi- The ratio

b/b will be njn and the curves of Figs. 148, 151, and 152 may

still be used4. A photo of a large leaf spring as used in locomo-

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tive design is shown in Fig. 153.

CANTILEVER SPRING UNDER COMHINED LOADING

A type of spring loading which frequently occurs in prac-

tice is the cantilever spring with one end rigidly built in and the

other end free to move laterally but restrained from rotation;

the deflection being of the type shown schematically in Fig. 154.

The spring may support a weight in the vertical direction, this

weight being represented by the axial force P. Such cases occur

'For more complicated cases of elliptic leaf springs and those supported by links

or shackles, the reader is referred to the book by Gross and Lehr, loc. cit.

2<)l

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where a vibrating table is supported by springs of this type, the

vibration being actuated by a crank arrangement. An example

of this type of spring is shown in Fig. 155 which shows an appli-

cation to a Fourdrinier paper machine. The vertical strips visible

in the photo are flat strips of Micarta (known as shake springs)

which support the weight of the table.

These springs are subject to essentially

the loading conditions shown schematic-

ally in Fig. 154. If the axial load F is

very small compared to the buckling

load, the deflection and stress may easily

be figured from ordinary beam theory.

The resulting equations are

12EI

36Eh

(336)

(337)

Fig. 154 Cantilever

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under combined axial

and transverse loading

where 1=length of beam (Fig. 154),

lateral load, J=bh3/12=moment

of inertia of section, 7; = width, h thick-

ness, S = total deflection, a=nominal

stress at built-in edge (stress concentration neglected). When

springs are subject to fatigue loading as mentioned previously

the nominal stress a should be multiplied by a fatigue strength

reduction factor to take into account the stress concentration at

the clamped edge. Actual test data relative to the values of such

factors are meagre.

Where the axial load P, Fig. 154 is not small compared to the

buckling load, Equations 336 and 337 no longer apply accurately.

In such cases a more accurate analysis shows that the stress and

deflection may be found by multiplying the results calculated

from these equations by factors C, and K, which depend on the

ratio P/Prr=Pl2/Elir-. In this Pcr=EIw2/l2 is the Euler criti-

cal or buckling load for hinged ends. These factors are:

C, = -

(338)

1-

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS 295

A>1-.178 (339)

* CT

The stress and deflection thus become:

3sEh

o = K! - - (340)

OP

a=c'W/" (341)

In Figs. 156 and 157 values of C1 and K2 are plotted against

the ratio P/'P,-,. An approximate method of calculating5 the fac-

*^F\Tv -m 111 i Y-

Fig. 153Micarta shake springs of cantilever type on Fourdrinier paper

machine are subject to combined lateral and axial loading

tor Cl is as follows: Under the action of the loads P and Q the

spring deflects into a cosine curve of the form

The potential energy stored in the beam is (using this equa-

tion )

EI r< / dy y EW

(342)

8 A more exact method is applied to the case of a simply supported beam in Theory

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of Elastic Stability by Timoshenko, McGraw-Hill, 1936, Page 28.

296

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Assuming now that the deflection S increases by a small

amount A8, from Equation 342 the potential energy V changes

by an amount /2t4( 28) A8/16/3, neglecting small quantities of

higher order. The lateral force Q does the work @A8 and it may

be shown that the vertical movement of the axial force P is

approximately ir'8A8/8Z which means that the work done is

Fig. 156Curve for calculating the deflection of a cantilever spring under

combined lateral and axial type of load

1V8A8/8Z. Equating the change in potential energy to the work

done by the forces P and Q, the following equation results;

. Q/J / i \ _ c_W_

12.2EI ^ J> J '12.2EI

which is practically the same as Equation 341. Maximum stress is

Ql Ps

<r= A

2Z 2Z

where Z is the section modulus (Z = fo h2/6).

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Substituting the expression for Q obtained from Equation

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

297

I 00

b96

z 94

5 .92

_l

9: .90

V)

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u' 86

tr

l-

w no

0 I 2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8

RATIO *

P,r EI Ij*

Fig. 157Stress correction factor for cantilever springs under combined

lateral and axial loads plotted against load ratios

341 in this expression, Equation 340 is obtained.

The curve of Fig. 156 shows that where the axial load is half

the critical buckling load, the factor C, = 2, i.e., twice as much de-

flection may be expected than if Equation 336 based on ordinary

beam theory were used. On the other hand for ratios P/Pr, equal

to .5 or less, the curve of Fig. 157 indicates that the stress formula

of Equation 337 is less than 10 per cent in error. In addition,

where 8 is given (as in the case where a crank arrangement is

used to actuate the spring) the stresses figured from Equation

337 are always somewhat higher than the actual stresses.

It should also be noted that when the spring width is large

compared to its thickness (as it usually is) the calculated deflec-

tion as given by Equation 341 should be multiplied by 1n2 as

before and the calculated stress as given by Equation 340 di-

vided by 1p2 where = Poisson's ratio. For most materials

this will mean about a 10 per cent increase in stress.

PLATE SPRING

An interesting application of the use of large flat springs in

machine design is shown schematically in Fig. 158 which repre-

sents a stack of plate springs supporting the frame of a 60,000

298

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

kilovolt-ampere single-phase alternating-current turbo-generator.

The purpose of this arrangement is to absorb the periodic torque

pulsations inherent in a single-phase generator of this type with-

out the transmission of objectionable vibration to the foundation.

GENERATOR TRAMS:

/^///////////A

ZEE

ZEE

ZCH

'//)//- ^

Fig. 158Schematic arrangement of plate spring assembly for

a spring-mounted alternating-current generator

The mode of deflection of this type of spring is shown by the

dashed line of Fig. 159. From the beam theory, the deflection

per spring may be calculated as

Pl,H,

(343)

-A

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2EI

T^T^r A - -

Fig. 159Mode of deflection of a plate spring

where L and i, are the dimensions shown on Fig. 159 and P is

the load at each end. For very wide springs in relation to the

thickness this deflection should be multiplied by 1/< as ex-

plained previously. The maximum stress is given by

6PI,

(344)

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

299

Springs of this type are normally subject to relatively low

stresses. It is only under severe short circuit conditions (which

occur infrequently) that the design stresses are reached.

In the preceding sections, methods for calculating nominal

stresses and deflections in various flat and leaf spring applications

were described. In most cases, however, the effect of these nom-

inal stresses is augmented by stress concentration, which may be

due to holes, notches, clamped edges, sharp bends, sudden

changes in section, etc. If the spring is under a purely static

loading or if the loads are repeated a relatively few times, such

stress concentration effects may usually be neglected, in prac-

tical design, for spring materials of good quality. However,

Fig. 160Strip with hole under bending, hole

where diameter d is small compared to strip

thickness h. In this case upper curve of Fig.

161 for tension may be used to find theoretical

stress concentration factor

where fatigue or repeated loading occurs, careful consideration

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should be given to such "stress raisers" by the designer, since

otherwise cracks may start at localized points of stress concentra-

tion and precipitate complete failure of the spring.

To take stress concentration into account, it is necessary to

know the range of nominal stress to which the spring is sub-

jected. In accordance with the discussion of Chapter I the

stress is then divided into a mean stress a and a variable stress

av. If omax and amln are the maximum and minimum nominal

stresses, then r=%(ffm<w+ amm) and ac=^(o-majamin)-

STRESS CONCENTRATION EFFECTS

300

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

In figuring the variable stress a, a fatigue strength reduction

factor Kf should be used. To be on the safe side, in the absence

of actual test data the value of Kf may be taken equal to the theo-

retical stress concentration factor Kt (see Page 125). In some

cases the actual fatigue factor Kf may be appreciably below Kt,

but in other cases the two factors may be nearly equal. Fatigue

tests indicate that this is particularly true of the fine-grained,

high-strength materials used for springs. For this reason the

theoretical stress concentration factors given in the following

sections probably will be satisfactory for use until more test data

are available.

HolesFrequently it is desirable or necessary to provide a

hole in a flat spring for holding the spring in place or for manu-

3.0i

<

Ld

1.8

Ld

DC

Ld

1.4

SM

all d/h-

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STRIP THICKNESS

HOLE DIAMETER

LAR

GE d/h (PF

r.i

10BA

RVE)

3LE SHAP

E OF

RATIO $

.4 .6

HOLE DIAMETER

STRIP WIDTH

1.0

Fig. 161Theoretical stress concentration factors for

strips with holes in bending. Note that the lower curve

may also be used for semicircular notches

facturing reasons. A common example is the semielliptic auto-

mobile leaf spring which usually is provided with a hole in the

center. A bolt through this hole holds the leaves together and

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

301

prevents relative motion between the leaves.

For flat springs having holes small in diameter relative to

the spring thicknesses as shown in Fig. 160 (this may occur in

large and heavy plate springs), it appears reasonable to apply

the results of photoelastic tests on tension bars with holes'5. The

()i .

MOMENT

Fig. 162Flat spring with hole large in diameter compared

to thickness. In this case where d/h is large considerably

lower stress concentration factors may be expected. For small

ratio d/w and d/h, factor is 3 compared to 1.85 for small d/w

and large d/h ratios

upper curve of Fig. 161 shows values of theoretical stress con-

centration factor Kt determined photoelastically as a function

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of ratio d/w between hole diameter and plate width. Thus where

this ratio is small the factor Kt approaches 3, a well known result

for a plate in tension. However, for small hofes it is possible

that the actual fatigue strength reduction factor KI will be con-

siderably less than 3 since the "size effect" may be pronounced.

On the other hand, for thin springs (for example, those made

of clock spring material) where the hole diameter d is large com-

pared to the strip thickness h as shown in Fig. 162, both tests

and theory indicate considerably lower values of Kt will exist than

is the case where d/h is small. A mathematical analysis by

Goodier7 shows that for a small hole in a wide strip under pure

bending in one direction where d/h is large this factor K( 1.85.

This value is considerably smaller than the value of 3 found for

a thicker plate where d/h is small. Since when the hole diam-

eter approaches the strip width a factor of 1 may be expected,

"Transactions ASME, Aug., 1934, Page 617, and Mechanical Engineering, Aug.,

1936, Page 485 discuss descriptions of such tests, together with theoretical stress con-

centration factors.

2 Philosophical Magazine, V. 22, 1936, Page 69. This work has also been checked

experimentally by C. Dumont using strain-measurements on a large aluminum plate.

See N.A.C.A. Technical Note No. 740. Values of K( = 1.59 were found for rf/t=.145

and large d/h.

302

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

the probable shape of this curve is that shown dashed in Fig. 161

for large d/h,

The practical use of these stress concentration factors is il-

lustrated by the curve of Fig. 163 which shows an estimated en-

durance diagram for a very high quality spring-steel strip in a

ground and polished condition (thickness .006-inch). The en-

durance limit of this material was found by tests (carried out

by T. F. Hengstenberg of the Westinghouse Research Labora-

tories ) to be 130,000 pounds per square inch in reversed bend-

ing while the ultimate strength was 275,000. It may be expected

that the material when subject to a stress range between a,i

and a,x will have a characteristic approximately as shown by

the full lines of Fig. 163. Thus the stress range for complete re-

versal is between points A and B or between -(-130,000 and

130,000 pounds per square inch. For a range from 0 to maxi-

mum the limiting points are G and H from 0 to 180,000. Now, if a

small hole is put into the strip, assuming that d/'w is small and

d/h large (Fig. 162) the factor K, 1.85. Since this material

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will probably be fairly sensitive to stress concentration, it may

not be so far off to assume that the fatigue strength reduction

factor Kf is approximately equal to this value. On this basis a

strip with a hole would show a diagram as indicated by the

dashed lines of Fig. 163, the point C and D representing nominal

stresses of 130,000,1.85 70,000. The ordinates between the

mean stress line <r and either the upper or lower full line are also

divided by 1.85. Thus a zero to maximum stress range for the

strip with the hole is represented by the line EF or 0 to 112,000

pounds per square inch. In this case, therefore, the strength

for this type of stress application has been reduced by the pres-

ence of the hole from 180,000 to 112,000 pounds per square inch

or by a factor of 180,000/112,000 = 1.6. This is considerably less

than the fatigue strength reduction factor assumed for completely

reversed stress which was 1.85. This difference is a consequence

of the assumption that stress concentration effects may be

neglected as far as the static component of the applied stress

is concerned.

It should be noted that actual tests would probably show a

somewhat higher endurance limit for the strip with a hole than

the figures determined in this way, due to "size effect" for such

thin material; in any case, however, the method of calculation

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

303

should be on the safe side for design. Also the assumption that

stress concentration effects may be neglected in calculating the

static component of stress may not be entirely correct (See

Page 131), and this may introduce a further deviation between

the theoretical and test results.

The curve of Fig. 163 represents the values to be expected

Fig. 163Endurance curves for a high-grade spring-steel strip,

thickness .006-inch, surface ground and polished

for an exceptionally high-grade strip material in a very thin size

(.006-in.) and with the surface in good condition, i.e., ground

and polished. For the thicker sections, such as are used in leaf

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and plate springs, with the surface in the condition left by rolling

304 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

0 200CO 40000 60000 80000 OOCOO

MEAN STRESS

Fig. 164Typical endurance curves on leaf spring material

and not ground after heat treatment on the basis of available test

data very much lower values of endurance limit may be ex-

pected than those shown in Fig. 163. The results of endurance

tests on typical steels as used in leaf springs are indicated in

Fig. 164. The upper and lower curves A and A' represent the

results of tests on typical steel plates as used in leaf springs with

surfaces ground to remove the decarburized layer left by heat

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treatment. The points in the shaded area represent test results

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

305

reported by Ilankins", Batson and Bradley", and Houdremont

and Bennek1 on springs with the surfaces untouched after heat-

treatment. It may be expected that, for leaf springs the results

of endurance tests will fall somewhere within the shaded area

shown; in any case a lowering of the endurance range to from

Vi to Vi that found for machined or ground specimens is to be

expected as a consequence of the decarburized surface layer

>

(Ol- d/h SMALL

)w

1]

wJ

1 r\

11

(b) d/h LARGE

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>

Fig. 165Strips with notches in bending. Where

d/h is small as in a, use curve of Fig. 166. Where

d/h is large as in b, use lower curve of Fig. 161

left by heat treatment. However, for high quality materials and

carefully controlled heat treatments it is possible that improved

results may be obtained over the values indicated on Fig. 164.

It should be noted that if stress concentration effects (holes,

notches, etc.) are present, the values of limiting stress range as

shown in Fig. 164 are reduced still lower.

8 Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, (British) Spec. Report No. 5,

9 Proceeding*, Institution of Nfechanical Engineers, 1931, Page 301.

!o "Federstachlc", published in Stall! \ind Eiscn, July 7, 1932, Page 660.

306

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

NotchesSometimes it is necessary for various practical

reasons to cut small notches in the sides of flat springs. When

these notches are of semicircular form, the stress concentration

effect may be estimated as follows: If the strip is relatively

thick so that the ratio d/h between notch diameter and spring

thickness is small as indicated in Fig. 165a, it appears reasonable

to apply the results of photoelastic tests on notched bars in ten-

sion11. In Fig. 166, values of the theoretical stress concentration

NOTCH DIAMETER

." IDTH OF STRIP

Wll

Fig. 166Theoretical stress concentration factors

for semicircular notches in thick strips, small d/h

factor Kt as found in this way are plotted as a function of the

ratio d/w between notch diameter and plate width.

For semicircular notches in thin strip materials as shown in

Fig. 165/j where the ratio d/h is large, it is reasonable to expect

that the factor Kt would be practically the same as that for a strip

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with a hole of the same diameter d and the same width w. It is,

therefore, suggested that the lower curve of Fig. 161 may also

be used as an approximation for this case. The dashed curve

11 References in Footnote 6 discuss results of such photoelastic tests.

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

307

of Fig. 163, may, therefore, represent the endurance diagram for

the case of a wide strip with semicircular notches under bending

(where d/h is large, d/tv small).

Sharp BendsIn forming flat springs, sharp bends are fre-

quently used. An example of this is the bend at A in the spring

Fig. 167Spring clip showing

stress concentration effect due

to sharp curvature of bend at A

clip shown in Fig. 167. Because of their sharp curvature, these

bends introduce a further stress concentration effect which may

be taken into account for repeated loading by using a stress con-

centration factor Kt derived from curved bar theory1-. Values

of Kt thus found for various values of the ratio r/h between mean

radius of bend and thickness of material are given in Fig. 168.

It may be seen that this factor Kt increases rapidly as r/h ap-

proaches unity. The importance of avoiding very sharp bends in

such springs, particularly when subject to repeated loading is

obvious.

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Clamped EndsMention was made previously of the effect

of clamping the ends of plate springs in certain applications.

Such clamping is frequently necessary but because of the clamp-

ing pressures, a certain amount of stress concentration is set up

as at A, Fig. 169. Under fatigue loading this will result in a re-

duction of fatigue strength below that obtained when the spring

is tested in the form shown by the dashed line b in Fig. 169 which

practically eliminates stress concentration. In addition, under

repeated loading there is also a certain amount of rubbing at

the clamped edges, point A, which results in this so-called rub-

bing corrosion or brown rust. This latter results in a further

lowering of the fatigue strength which may be particularly great

for the higher strength materials.

Although there appears to be little data available on the

subject, particularly as applied to spring steels, some results of

fatigue tests were published by Hankins". These tests were made

"This theory is discussed more fully in Chapter XVII.

308

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

on flat specimens of leaf spring steel (%-inch thick) with the

surface left untouched after heat treatment, the loading con-

ditions being essentially those of Fig. 169. When the,specimens

were clamped and of uniform width the endurance limit in com-

pletely reversed bending stress for a .48 per cent carbon steel

I.61 1 1 1 - 1

:.0r

r MEAN RADIUS OF BEND

TT SPRING THICKNESS

Fig. 168Stress concentration factors Kt for

sharp bends in flat springs

was it33,600 while tests on the specimens without stress concen-

tration showed an average value of 47,000. The fatigue strength

reduction factor K, therefore, was 47,000/33,600=1.4. Similar

tests on a .6 per cent carbon spring steel showed a reduction in

endurance limit from 60,500 to 45,000 and a fatigue factor

Kf of 1.35. No data were given as to the actual clamping pres-

sures in these tests. It should be noted that for higher strength

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materials (where the surface has been ground after heat treat-

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

309

__y b

rn

^UNIFORM WIDTH

Fig. 169Flat spring with clamped end. Due to clamp-

ing pressure, stress concentration occurs at A

ment) much larger values of Kf than these are possible. For

example, in press fits as used in roller and ball bearings where

a similar condition exists, values of Kf as high as 3 to 4 have been

found when alloy steels shafts are used. For a medium-carbon-

steel collar pressed on a 2-inch diameter carbon-steel shaft

values of Kf ranging from 1.4 to 2, depending on fit pressure,

may be expected13.

APPLICATIONS OF FLAT SPRINGS

A sketch showing a rather unusual application where the

use of flat springs worked out advantageously is the lateral ex-

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tensometer14 shown in Fig. 170. The purpose of this instrument

(used in photoelastic work) is to measure minute lateral con-

tractions which occur in a model of Bakelite when stressed.

These are of the order of .001-inch total; to obtain say one per

cent accuracy it is necessary to measure these movements to

.00001-inch. It is well known that these lateral contractions are

directly proportional to the sum of the principal stresses15 at any

point in a flat specimen under load. By thus determining the

sum of these stresses at any point, and determining their dif-

ference by well known photoelastic methods the complete stress

* Article by Peterson and Wahl, "Fatigue of Shafts at Fitted Members", Journal

Applied Mechanics, 1935, Page A-l gives further details.

t4 Machine Design, Nov., 1939, presents a more complete description of these ex-

tensometers.

"If a square element is imagined as cut out of a flat specimen under load and

if this element is imagined to be rotated until no shearing stresses act on its sides, the

two stresses acting on perpendicular planes are called principal stresses.

310 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Fig. 170Lateral extensometer utilizes flat springs

distribution in the test specimen may be found.

A sketch of this lateral extensometer is shown in Fig. 171.

The two rounded points P and P' are pressed lightly against the

Bakelite test specimen, the pressure exerted by the flat spring.;

C and C being sufficient to hold the points at a definite location

on the test specimen. The whole assembly is supported by the

helical springs shown in Fig. 170, a static balance of the instru-

ment being effected by means of the weights shown. Because of

the considerable flexibility of the supporting helical springs, slight

movements of distortions of the test specimen may occur without

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Fig. 171Sketch of lateral extensometer

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS

311

causing lateral slippage of the points P and P' (Fig. 171) resting

on the specimen.

From Fig. 171 it may be seen that any lateral contraction of

the test specimen will cause a relative motion of points P and P'

which in turn results in a motion of the bar B with respect to the

frame D. This motion is recorded on the Huggenberger exten-

someter E whose points are held against the instrument by a

clamp not shown.

Another application where flat springs have been used to form

elastic hinges'" is the short gage-length extensometer shown sche-

Fig. 172Schematic sketch for arrangement of

short gage length extensometer

matically in Fig. 172. This instrument is used in the determina-

tion of stress concentration where a short gage-length is neces-

sary. Essentially the instrument consists of two light, hollow

tubes attached to two knife edges B and B'. These knife edges arc

held together by the spring steel strips S (Fig. 172a) which are

w Paper by W. E. Young, "An Investigation of the Cross-Spring Pivot", presented

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at 1943 Annual A.S.M.E. meeting gives design formulas for elastic hinges. These may

be used for deflection angles as high as 45 degrees.

312

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

essentially flat springs. The extensometer points are pressed

against the specimen by means of a special clamping arrange-

ment shown in Fig. 173. Referring to Fig. 172a when deforma-

tion of the specimen occurs point B' moves to say B". This causes

rotation of the movable lever arm T as indicated by the dashed

lines, with resulting deformation of the spring steel strips. The

result is that the whole assembly pivots about the point O, and

because of the length of the lever arms a considerable magnifica-

tion takes place (about 35 in this case). Thus any relative mo-

tion of points B and B' is thus communicated to the targets A after

being magnified by the lever ratio. The relative motion of the

targets A is determined by means of a microscope with a measur-

ing eyepiece. By this method a high magnification is obtained.

In designing the flat strips S (Fig. 172a) it was necessary to

make them stiff enough so that buckling due to the clamping load

will not occur, while at the same time sufficient flexibility must

be present so that no appreciable restraint to the deformation of

the specimen is imposed. By using flat springs in this way, the

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use of knife edges with their disadvantages was avoided.

Further application of flat springs is shown in the special

clamp (Fig. 173) used for holding the extensometer points

against the test specimen. The clamping pressure is supplied by

the U-shaped magnet shown. The flat springs D and D' allow

a horizontal motion of the clamp when the screw E is turned.

By this means the point P may be located accurately. A definite

load is applied to the extensometer by compressing the helical

spring S a given amount. It is important to maintain a definite

clamping load sufficiently high to prevent slippage of the points

and yet not so high as to cause buckling of the flat springs. A

Fig. 173Sketch of

special clamp for ex-

tensometer

FLAT AND LEAF SPRINGS 313

lateral adjustment of the clamping point P (not shown) is also

provided. The strip A' is essentially a flat spring while A is a

thin round bar. The purpose of this arrangement is to allow

slight movements of the extensometer relative to the clamp,

Fig. 174View of extensometer and magnet clamping

arrangement shown in position on shaft fillet

caused by distortion of the test specimen, both laterally and

longitudinally without resulting in lateral forces which may

cause distortion in the instrument or slippage of the gage points.

Either of these latter effects would produce errors in the results.

The flexible strip C makes possible a three-point support for the

clamping load P, while at the same time slight distortions of the

specimen between points B and C may be taken up by deflection

of the strip without imposing appreciable lateral load on the

points. In designing these flat springs it was again necessary to

guard against buckling under the action of the clamping force.

A view of the extensometer clamped on to a large shaft

fillet is shown in Fig. 174. The microscope M, the target A, the

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flexible strips T, the points B, and the magnet N are indicated.

CHAPTER XVII

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

Helical torsion springs have essentially the same shape as

helical compression or tension springs except that the ends are

formed in such a way that the spring may be subject to torque

about the coil axis. Because of the mode of stressing such springs

the primary stress is flexural, in contrast to the helical compression

or tension spring where the primary stress is torsional. Some

typical shapes of ends for torsion springs are shown in Figs. 175

and 176. The design of spring end is made primarily from the

point of view of transmitting external torque to the spring. Tor-

Courtesy, Wallace-Barnes Co.

Fig. 175Typicai group of torsion springs

sion springs are used in a wide variety of applications among

which may be mentioned door hinge springs, springs for starters

in automobiles and springs for brushholders in electric motors.

LoadingA typical method of loading a torsion spring is in-

dicated in Fig. 177. Here the spring is supposed to be wound

around a rod, one end of it being fastened to the rod while the

other has a straight portion projecting outward. If this arm is

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314

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

315

loaded by a force P at a radius R from the axis in such a manner

as to wind the spring, then the moment tending to twist the spring

will be PR as indicated in the figure. Because of friction between

the spring and guide, the actual moment may decrease along

the spring so that an exact calculation becomes involved.

Since most torsion springs are wound cold, it is advisable to

load them in such a way that the spring tends to wind up as the

Fig. 176Various styles of ends used in torsion springs

load is applied. The reason for this is that the residual stresses

set up as a consequence of the cold winding are in such a direc-

tion as to subtract from the peak stress due to the loading, pro-

vided that the load is in the same direction as that in which the

Fig. 177Torsion spring subject to force P at radius R

spring was wound. If the direction of loading is such as to un-

wind the spring, it is advisable to heat treat by means of a blu-

ing treatment to remove such residual stresses.

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There is another reason for loading the spring in this man-

316

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

ner. Referring to Fig. 177 for a load tending to wind up the

spring, the reaction will be against the arbor and the peak bend-

ing moment in the spring will be PR. However, if the load is in

the opposite direction to that shown, the peak moment will be

P(R-\-r) where r is the mean coil radius. This means a consider-

able increase in stress, particularly if r is about as large as R.

End ConditionsFor many cases where the ends of the

spring are clamped, or if special ends are used, some stress con-

centration may be expected near the ends. These stress concen-

trations should be carefully considered particularly if the spring

is subject to fatigue loading, or if it is to be subject to a large

number of load repetitions during its life. On the other hand,

if the number of load applications is small during the spring life,

such stress concentrations may probably be neglected.

BindingBecause a torsion spring (for usual applications)

tends to wind up with load, its diameter decreases. In design it

is important that sufficient clearance be allowed between the

arbor or rod, about which the spring is wound, and the inner

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diameter of the spring. If this is not done, the spring may bind

or wrap around the arbor and high stresses may be set up. The

clearance necessary may be estimated from the calculated de-

flection of the ends of the spring as given by Equation 367. Thus,

if the spring end deflects 90 degrees or V4-turn and the spring has

8 turns, the diameter will change in the ratio of V* to 8 or about

3 per cent. This can be allowed for in design.

If the spring fits inside a tube and is loaded so as to unwind,

sufficient clearance must be allowed between the outside diam-

eter of the spring and the inside diameter of the tube. This

clearance may be estimated in the same manner as before.

BucklingSometimes quite long torsion springs are used.

Where this is done, there is always the possibility of torsional

buckling. This may be avoided by providing such springs with

guides such as rods or tubes. By properly clamping the ends or

by applying an initial tension load, it is possible to avoid buckling

in some cases without the use of guides.

Wire SectionUsually for manufacturing reasons, torsion

springs are made of round wire. However, where maximum

energy storage is required in a given space, the use of square

or rectangular wire may be advisable. The reason for this is that

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

317

in bending, the square or rectangular section has a larger propor-

tion of material subjected to stresses near the peak value than is

the case for circular wire. Consequently, for the same peak stress,

greater energy storage may be obtained for a given volume of

material for square or rectangular wire than for circular wire.

Also, for a given spring index, more material may be compressed

within a given outside diameter in the case of rectangular wire;

this further increases the amount of energy which may be stored

in a given space. Chapter XXII discusses this further.

If the ends are properly designed, most torsion springs may

be considered as subject to a pure bending moment about the

axis of the coil. For the usual small pitch angles, the spring may

Fig. 178Torsion spring clement acted on by bending moment M

also be assumed as a curved bar subject to a bending moment M,

and the results of curved bar theory may be applied1.

Considering an element abed, Fig. 178, cut from the spring

by two neighboring planes passing through the center of curva-

ture (or the spring axis) and including a small angle dj>, the

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radius of the center line of the bar, V>, the mean coil diameter, is

1 TimushcnkoStrength of Materials. Part 11. Second Edition, page 65 gives a

further discussion of this theory.

THEORY

CENTER LINE

318

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

designated by r. At a certain radius r there will be no stress in

the spring; the surface corresponding to this radius is known as

the neutral surface.

When a bending moment M acts on this element, if it is as-

sumed that plane cross sections normal to the center line remain

so after bending, the section bc deflects through a small angle

A</</ > and takes up the position ef.

Length of the longitudinal element shown shaded at a dis-

tance y from the neutral surface is (ry)d<f> before bending

occurs. After bending, the length increases by an amount y( Ad</>).

The unit elongation will thus be

(r.-y)d*

and the stress o> acting will be this elongation times the modulus

of elasticity of the spring material. Thus,

This equation shows that die stress distribution across the sec-

tion is hyperbolic in form as indicated in the diagram of Fig. 179.

To determine the unknown radius r of the neutral surface,

and the unknown angular deflection Ad<f>, two equations art-

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needed. These are obtained from two conditions:

1. The sum of the normal forces acting over a radial cross section

must be zero since no net external force (but only an external mo-

ment) acts

2. The sum of the moments of the elementary forces about the neutral

axis must be equal to the external moment M.

If dA is the element of area over which the stress o> acts

dA=bdy for a rectangular cross section where h is the width of

the cross section. Then, from the first condition mentioned,

using Equation 345,

y(Ad<t>)

(346)

From the second condition,

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

319

This latter equation may be written as

E(Ad<t>) ryMA -E(Ad<t>)

d<t>

Since

ryMA_ -ew ffy J*\iA_M

J r-y d<(> J \ r-y I

J r-

-y

from Equation 346, this gives

ray

2A = 0

EAd* r

drJydA=

M (347).

Letting e be the distance of the centroid of the section from

the neutral axis, then,

JydA = Ae

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Substituting this in Equation 347,

E(Ad<t>) M

d<t> Ae

Using this in Equation 345, the expression for stress aa

becomes

My (348)

Ae(r-y)

For springs of circular and rectangular cross sections the

maximum stress will occur at the inside surface of the spring

where i/ = /i, and ry=ru the inside radius of the bar, Fig. 178.

Hence, substituting these values in Equation 348, expression for

maximum stress am.r at the inside of the coil, Fig. 179, becomes

Aer,

The stress amiH on the outside of the coil is obtained by taking

y=h, and ry=r2 in Equation 348. Thus,

-Mh,

Aen

320

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

In this the negative sign signifies compression for the direc-

tion of the moment M indicated in Fig. 178.

RECTANGULAR BAR TORSION SPRINGS

For a rectangular cross section of width b, Fig. 178, dA = bdy

and. by substitution in Equation 346,

f'^-O (349)

By integrating this equation, the value of r may be determined.

However, the calculation is facilitated by the following method

suggested by Timoshenko2. Letting !/, = !/-(-<? where (/, is the

distance of a point on the cross section from the centroid, then,

since ry.~~rand e~t r, from Equation 349

(yA f-MA _ fM_r-dA-=Q (350)

J r-y J r-jy, J r-y, J r-y,

Letting

/"--mA (3511

J r-y,

Also, using Equation 351,

[d* =1 f [l + JL-] dA = Aa + > (352 )

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J ) y, r J L ry, J r

By substituting Equations 351 and 352 in Equation 350,

e(l+m)A

mA = 0

or

To calculate the value of m for a rectangular cross section, the

1 Loc. cit. Page 72.

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS 321

term l/(ri/,) in Equation 351 may be expressed in series form

-i--i(i+^+^-+4+..+(^y",+..)

ryi r \ r r- r3 \ r / /

Substituting this in Equation 351, taking dA = bdyl, and solving

for in,

1 r y&l ,M + + y, + _ ,

n y_/s r>i n \ r r1 r3 /

Integrating and putting c=2r/h, the value of m becomes

m = 1 1 h H h (354

3c2 5C 7c" (2/i+Dc2-

Since /j, = (^/2)e for rectangular section, by substitution

of the value of e given by Equation 353,

A,-- rm (355)

21+m

Maximum StressSubstituting Equations 353 and 355 in

Equation 348, and taking r, = rh 2 and A=" bh, the maximum

stress for a rectangular section becomes

V 2 1 + m/

Putting in this equation, the spring index c=2r/7i for a rectangu-

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lar section,

"~bhr\ c-1 7

(356)

For practical springs where c is over three, the series of

Equation 354 for in converges very rapidly and sufficient accuracy

for practical purposes may be obtained by taking two terms.

This gives

322

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Since the term .6/c- in this equation is very small compared

to unity for most practical springs, this may be written:

1/1

3c5 - 1.8

Substituting this value for m in Equation 356, the maximum stress

becomes

Om0z Kl

6M

where

. (357)

3c--c-.8

3c(c-l)~

It is seen that this formula is simply the ordinary formula for

stress in a rectangular bar subject to a bending moment M (i.e.,

6M/bh"-) multiplied by a factor K, greater than unity which de-

Fig. 179 Hyperbolic

distribution of stress in

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helical torsion spring

pends on the spring index c and which may be considered as a

stress concentration factor. Values of K., are plotted as functions

of c in Fig. 180. It is seen that, as would be expected, the value

K2 drops with increase in index, since the spring bar then ap-

proaches the condition of a straight bar under a bending moment.

For a spring with an index of 3, the correction factor K.,~ 1.30.

which means that the peak stress is about 30 per cent greater in

this case than that figured by the usual formula in which the

effect of curvature is neglected.

DeflectionTo calculate the deflection of a torsion spring

of rectangular or square-section wire, the usual beam equation

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

323

may be used'. Neglecting effects of friction and assuming that

the spring is subject to a constant moment M as before, the angu-

lar deflection of an element of the spring of length ds will be

_ Mds _ \2Mds

* EI Ebh'

where I is the moment of inertia of the wire section. The total

deflection of the spring (in radians) will be the integral of this, or

r \2Mds _ 12MI

*~J Ebh' Ebh3

where l=2wnr is the active length of the spring wire and n the

1.6

LS

I.I

'0,

(CIRCULAR

WIRE)

J. . i

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(RECTANGULAR -

WIRE)

4 6 8 10

SPRING IN0EXc-*T- OR^-

Fig. 180Torsion stress concentration factors

K, and K2 for circular and rectangular wire

number of active coils. Using this value of /, the angular deflec-

tion 4> becomes

"Comparison of the usual beam equation with more exact results calculated from

curved-bar theory shows that the difference is negligible for practical purposes. This is

analogous to helical compression springs, where the usual equation for deflection is

accurate enough for most practical purposes, although derived in an elementary way.

324

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

24irMrn

0= radians (358)

Eon3

The angular twist of the spring in degrees will be 57.3 times this

value.

Assuming that the spring is subject to a force P at the end

of an arm of length R as indicated in Fig. 177, the moment M

PR and the circumferential deflection 8 at the end of this arm will

be <f>R. Using Equation 358 the deflection at radius R is

24wPR-rn ,nrn

-SST-(359)

CIRCULAR WIRE TORSION SPRINGS

Maximum StressAlthough the rectangular-wire torsion

spring makes a more efficient use of material, springs of ciicular

wire are more frequently used for reasons of economy. The stress

in such springs may be figured in a similar way as before. If d

is the wire diameter, by using Equation 348 the maximum stress

amax may be expressed as follows:

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(t-)

*m; (360)

Ae

(-!)

To calculate e, a similar procedure may be used as in the case

of the rectangular bar spring. From Equation 360, taking

erm/) l-\-m),

V2l+m/

ffm0

Taking the spring index c==2r, d and A - *(/- 4 for circular wire,

this equation may be written

(361)

To find the value of hi, Equation 352 is used. Taking

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

325

from Fig. 181, this gives

r J ry, J-ni ry, \ J 4 /

(362)

Putting c=2r/d, the expression under the radical may be written

in series form as follows:

T 4 V 2c

11

2c- "8c<"" 16c*

Substituting this in Equation 362, taking A= (ir/4)d- and solv-

ing for m,

111

m=111

4c' 8c 16c*

(It should be noted that for a rectangular cross-section, the index

c=2r/h; for a circular section c=2r/d)

For practical springs where the index c>3, this series con-

verges rapidly and two terms are sufficient for practical use. Thus

11-1(1\

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(363)

Since the last term in the brackets of this expression is small

this equation may be written with sufficient accuracy as

4c-

Putting this value of m in Equation 361, and simplifying, the

expression for maximum stress becomes

a,. = /e, (364)

where K, replaces the following expression

326

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

4c"c-1

g- , , (365)

4c(c 1)

The term 32M/ird in Equation 364 represents the stress fig-

ured from the usual formula for a straight circular bar, i.e., stress

equals bending moment over section modulus. The factor K,

represents the stress increase due to the hyperbolic stress distri-

bution, Fig. 179. Values of K, are plotted as functions of the spring

index c in Fig. 180. It is seen that for an index of 3 the stress

multiplication factor K, is about 1.33. It may also be noted from

Fig. 180 that the values of K, do not differ much from those of K.,

for rectangular wire, for the same index.

DeflectionTo calculate the deflection of a torsion spring of

circular wire the same expression may be used as that used for

rectangular wire except that the moment of inertia / is taken as

ird,/64 in this case. This gives for the angular deflection

Mds G4MI

EI ird,E

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Since the effective length l=2irrn, this expression may be written

12SMrn ,. ,.,,

0 = radians (366)

Ed,

If <f> is given in number of turns, since one turn=27r radians,

this equation becomes

64Mrn , ,

<t>= turns (367)

rEd'

If the spring is subject to a moment set up by a force P at

the end of a lever arm of radius R, Fig. 177, then M = PR and the

circumferential deflection at this radius will be equal to R<f>,

where <f> is given in radians. Hence, using Equation 366, the

deflection at the load becomes

l28PR"rn (368)

Ed1

Example CalculationAs an example, the design of a brush-

holder spring loaded as indicated in Fig. 177 will be considered.

(This type of spring is used to apply pressure on the carbon

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

327

brushes of small motors). Assuming the following dimensions:

load arm H = %-inch; mean coil-radius r=3/ 16-inch; wire diam-

eter d=.04-inch; spring index c=2r/d9.4, the load '? at the

Fig. 181Curved bar

with circular section

GRAVITY

/AXIS

"S NEUTRAL

1 AXIS

end of the lever arm is lV* pounds. From Fig. 180 the factor K,

for c=9.4 is 1.08. Using Equation 364 the maximum stress is,

taking M = PR,

32M 1.08X32X1.25X.875 ,BBnMt. . .

^...K, 188000 lb./sq. in.

tZ3 xX(.04)3

If there are 10 active turns, from Equation 367 the deflection

in turns is, for E=30X 10 pounds per square inch,

64Mrn 64X1.25X.875X. 187X10

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<t> = = . =.54 turns

xX30X10X(.04)

This corresponds to a deflection of slightly more than 180 degrees.

Table XXXI

Suggested Working Stresses for Torsion Springs

<lb./sq. In.)

Wire Size Less than Hi-inch Wire Sizes % to Vi-inch

Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum

Spring Working Total Working Total

Material Stress Stress Stress Stress

Music wire 200,000 240,000 180,000 215,000

Oil-tempoied wire 180,000 215,000 140,000 180,000

Hard-drawn wire 155,000 180,000 120,000 155,000

Stainless-steel 18-8 155,000 180,000 115,000 145,000

Phosphor bronze 60,000 85,000 48,000 70,000

Brass 45,000 70,000 35,000 60,000

Working StressesWorking stresses for torsion springs of

circular wire up to y4-inch diameter are suggested by Wallace

t The Mainspring, June 1941.

328

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Barnes Company' as a good guide in designing springs of rea-

sonable proportions for general use. These are shown in Table

XXXI.

The American Steel & Wire Company (Manual of Spring

Engineering, Page 36) gives values of maximum design stress

varying with the wire size as indicated in Table XXXII. These

recommended values are for average service conditions, defined

as noncorrosive atmosphere, temperatures not exceeding 150

degrees Fahr. and relatively slowly varying or static loads. The

Plain

carbon

steels

Table XXXII

Recommended Maximum Design Stresses

(for average service conditions)

Material Wire Diameter d

".004-.009

.010-.020

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.021-.040

.041-.060

.061-.080

.081-.100

.101-.ISO

.151-.225

.226-.400

.401-.625

Stainless steel 18-8

Monel metal

Brass

Hard Drawn

160,000

160,000

160,000

140,000

130,000

110,000

-Kind of Wire-

Tempered

180,000

180,000

180,000

185,000

145,000

135,000

125,000

140,000

60,000

30,000

Music

280,000

270.000

240,000

220,000

210,000

200.000

185.000

165,000

working stresses are reduced in general for the larger sizes of

wire, as indicated. Values are also given for stainless steel, monel

metal and brass.

These stresses will probably be satisfactory when computed

using Equations 357 or 364 which take into account the stress

augment due to curvature and provided the spring is subject to

relatively few cycles of stress during its life.

Where the spring is subject to repeated or fatigue stresses

through a considerable range, in general it will be necessary to

use lower working stresses than those suggested in Tables XXXI

and XXXII. This is also true if the spring is subject to elevated

CHAPTER XVIII

SPIRAL SPRINGS

Flat spiral springs, consisting essentially of flat strip wound

to form a spiral, have many advantages from the standpoint of

energy storage within a limited space, particularly if the spring

is required to deliver torque. In addition, such springs are rela-

tively simple to manufacture. Because of these advantages,

spiral springs are widely used in clocks, watches, electrical in-

struments and similar devices. Other applications include

brush-holder springs, Fig. 182, phonograph motors, etc. An un-

Fig. 182Spiral brusholder spring tor motor

usual use of this type of spring as an energy storing device is

shown in the experimental circuit-breaker mechanism of Fig. 183.

If the spiral spring is so wound that individual turns do not

come in contact, the analysis for the spring may be carried out

with considerable accuracy. Such an example is provided by

the hairspring of a watch. On the other hand, if the turns of the

spring are wound tightly together, as is true of a phonograph

motor spring, a different sort of analysis must be made becairse

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329

330

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Fig. 183Experimental meehanism utilizes spiral springs

of friction between turns. These cases will therefore be treated

separately, the primary purpose of this chapter being a discussion

of the fundamentals of spiral spring calculations.

SPRINGS WITH MANY TURNS WITHOUT CONTACT

Clamped outer endIn the first analysis it will be assumed

that the outer end of the spring is clamped by a moment M, as

indicated in Fig. 184. It also will be assumed that the spring has

a large number of turns which are, however, separated suffi-

ciently so that adjacent turns do not come in contact during de-

flection1. The inner end of the spring is fastened to an arbor

which pivots about point O and is acted on by a torque M.

For a built-in condition, at the outer end A of the spring

a tangential force P, a radial force R (passing through O) and

a moment M,, will act. The external torque M is

M.-Pr+M, (369)

If M is the bending moment at any point of the spiral having

the coordinates x and y, then from the statical conditions of equi-

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librium,

M=P(r+y)+Mi-Rx (370)

'R. V. SouthwellTheory of Elasticity, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1936, Page 66.

SPIRAL SPRINGS

331

Solving for Pr in Equation 369 and substituting in Equa-

tion 370,

The energy stored in a short length ds of the spring acted

on by a moment M is, from ordinary beam theory2

where E is the modulus of elasticity and I the moment of inertia

of the cross section. Where strip material is used as indicated in

Chapter XVI, more accurate results will be obtained by replacing

E by E/(lp2) where /x=Poisson's ratio.

Total energy U stored in the spring is

In this the integral is taken over the total length of the spiral.

The Castigliano theorem2 states that the partial derivative

of the stored energy U with respect to a statically indeterminate

Timoshenko, S.Strength of Materials, Part I, Second Edition, Van Nostrand

Pages 296 and 308.

(371)

(372

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Fig. 184Spiral spring

with large number of

turns, clamped outer end

Fig. 183Pinned outer

end of a spiral spring,

large number of turns

332

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

force or moment which does no work, must be zero. Since neither

the force R nor the moment M, do work as the spring deflects,

this means that

dU dU = 0: =0

dR dM,

Using Equation 372 and differentiating under the integral

sign, these conditions give

/'M dM ,

/"* (374)

In these / is the total length of the spiral.

Since EZ is assumed constant, from these equations the fol-

lowing conditions hold:

J dM,

0 (375)

(0 376)

From Equation 371,

dM y dM

dM, r' dR X

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Using these equations together with Equation 371 in Equa-

tion 376,

j'^Mofl + j) - M,j - Rx]^- = 0 (377)

Similarly, using Equations 371 and 375,

'[M,(l + j) - M,j - Rx]xds=0 (378)

The Castigliano theorem- also states that the partial derivative

of the stored energy U with respect to an external moment gives

SPIRAL SPRINGS

333

the angular deflection due to this moment. Thus the angular de-

flection due to the external moment M becomes (using Equa-

tion 372)

d>= = / ds (379)

v dM, Jo EI 6Mo'

Differentiating Equation 371 with respect to M,

dM y

= 1 + (380)

aAf. r

Using Equations 371 and 380 in 379 angular deflection <f> becomes

*"ijjf W1 + T) ~ M'r ~ H (' + 7)*(381)

Equation 378 may be written

JC'M0xds+ f"M-ds- f Af,ds- C'Rx2ds=0 (382)

0 t/o r t/o i/0

For a spiral spring with a large number of turns, the fol-

lowing equations also hold with sufficient exactitude for prac-

tical purposes:

JT xds=0; C yds=0; C xyds=0

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D t/o t/0

This means that the first three integrals of Equation 382 are

zero. Hence

RxHs=0

s:

Since j x-ds cannot be zero it follows from this equation that

R 0. In other words, at the outer end A of such a spring, Fig.

184, the radial load R will be zero. For a small number of turns,

this will not be true, however.

From Equation 377,

flM.ds + f'M.ds- f"M^ds - C' R--ds=Q

334

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Since R=0, fy/r dsO and / (xy/r)ch = 0 for a large

number of turns, this equation reduces to

Since / (i/2/r2)*Zs cannot be zero, Equation 383 shows that

(V/M,=0 or M=MX. Using this condition in Equation 369,

P=0 which means that the tangential force at the end A, Fig.

184, also vanishes for the condition assumed. Since R is also zero,

and M, = M, Equation 371 shows that M = M which means that

the moment is constant along the length of the spring.

Taking M, = M and R = 0, Equation 381 reduces to

Again for a large number of turns / (y/r)ds=-0 and /ds~l

Hence the angular deflection <f> becomes

-tt (385)

In this </> is given in radians (or degrees divided by 57.3).

This equation thus states that the angular deflection of a spiral

spring with a large number of turns and a length I with built-in

outer end is the same as that of a straight beam of length I built

in at one end and loaded by a moment at the other.

Since the moment is constant along the length of the spiral

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the nominal stress a (neglecting curvature effects) for the case

of Fig. 184 will be given by

6M

where bwidth of spring cross section and li = thickness of strip.

Usually there is some stress concentration at the clamped

ends of the spring. If fatigue or repeated loading is present (as

in the hairspring of a watch), in accordance with the discussion

in Chapter XVI this should be taken into account by multiplying

the stress calculated from Equation 386 by a stress concentration

factor. For most applications where the number of repetitions

(383)

(384)

SPIRAL SPRINGS

335

of load during the life of the spring is small, stress concentration

effects are neglected, however.

Where a small number of turns is involved, Equations 385

and 386 should be modified as discussed later.

Pinned Outer EndFrequently in practice, for manufac-

turing reasons the outer end of a spiral spring may be held with

a pin instead of being clamped. Neglecting friction no moment

will act at the pinned end A and the loading conditions will be

those shown in Fig. 185. In this case the external moment Mn

will be

M,-Pr (387)

Assuming that the coils do not touch each other, the mo-

ment at any point of the spiral having the coordinates x and y

becomes

M=P(r+y)-Rx (388)

Using Equation 387, this expression may be written

From the Castigliano theorem, as before,

This follows as a consequence of the fact that the radial force R

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does no work during deflection of the spring. Therefore Equa-

tion 373 also applies.

Differentiating Equation 388 with respect to R and substi-

tuting in Equation 373, the following expression is obtained:

(389)

or

As before, for a large number of turns, the first two integrals

336

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

may be taken as zero. Hence this equation gives

Rx'ds=0 (390)

Since / x-ds is different from zero this means that the radial

force R is also equal to zero for the pin-ended case. Fig. 185.

As before the angular rotation <f> is given by Equation 379,

using the value of M given by Equation 389. Differentiating the

latter partially with respect to M and substituting the result to-

gether with Equation 389 in Equation 379,

-ir/K1+7)-**](1+7)*

Since R was found to be zero this simplifies to

M. p'/. . 2y

* EI

From the condition that / yds=0 for a large number of turns,

this equation becomes

Also for a large number of turns

r ^

J r; 4

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This value is approximate. Using it in Equation 391, the ex-

pression for 4> simplifies to

*=1.25~ (392)

Comparing this with Equation 385 it is seen that, for the

same external moment M, , a spiral spring with a hinged outer end

will have about 25 per cent more angular deflection than the cor-

responding one with clamped outer end, provided adjacent turns

do not come in contact.

The maximum moment in the spring will occur when y=r

(approximately). Taking y = r in Equation 389, since R0, this

SPIRAL SPRINGS

337

gives a maximum value M = 2M. The maximum stress is then

- *g Z' (~>

For a given external moment M this stress is twice that for

a spring with a clamped outer edge (Equation 386). However,

it should be noted that it occurs at a point opposite to the pinned

end where there is no stress concentration. If the arbor diam-

eter is small compared to r, the moment at the inner clamped end

will be M which is the same as that for a spring with clamped

outer end. This means that the stress at this end will also be the

same and, since there is always some stress concentration at this

point, it may still happen that in some cases this is the limiting

stress. Also touching of the coils, as may easily occur in practice,

will tend to reduce the stress given by Equation 393. For a more

extensive discussion of spiral springs with large numbers of turns

the reader is referred to the article by Van den Broek1.

Example: A steel torsion spring having a pinned end A Fig.

185 is subject to an external torque M equal to 25 inch-pounds.

The outer diameter is 2 inches, the bar section is "2 by .06-inch,

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and the total length 15 inches. Required the stress and the de-

flection. Assuming a modulus E = 30X10" pounds per square

inch,

, bh' .5(.06)' ,

'=12- 12-=9X10'

From Equation 392 for a pinned end

'nrrMJ 1.25X25X15 , J.

<4=1.25= =1.73 radians

v EI 30X10X9X10-

This corresponds to an angular rotation of 1.73(57.3) =99 de-

grees.

From Equation 393 the maximum stress is

12M 12X25 , .

, 167000 lb./sq. in.

bh' .5(.06)'

The stress at the clamped end O where stress concentration

'}. A. Van den Brock"Spiral Springs" Transactions, A.S.M.E., 1931, 53-18.

Also Elastic Energy Theory, Wiley, 1942.

338

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

occurs will be about half this or 84,000 pounds per square inch

assuming an arbor diameter small compared to r. However, as

indicated previously this latter stress will be augmented by stress

concentration effects due to clamping of the end.

In some practical cases where large torques are involved it

is necessary to use a relatively heavy cross section for the spiral

spring as well as an arbor of larger diameter. This means that

the number of turns in the spring may be relatively small so

that the previously discussed theory (based on a large number

of turns) no longer applies. However, an analysis of this case

may be made by using similar methods to those described pre-

viously4. This analysis will be briefly outlined.

Considering a spring with a small number of turns as shown

in Fig. 186, it is assumed that the spring is clamped or built in

at point B at a radius r, while the outer end A may move in an

arc about point O. The angular deflection of the end A (in

radians) is equal to the movement of A along the arc divided

by the outer radius r...

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The moment M at any point on the spiral having the co-

ordinates x and y will be given by Equation 370, using r, for r,

M*=P(r,+ v)+M,-Rx (394)

The three unknown quantities M P and R in this equation

may be determined from three equations obtained by using the

Castigliano theorem. Since the point A is assumed constrained

to move along a circular arc about O, the work done by the force

R must be zero. This means dU/dR 0 and Equation 375 holds.

By differentiating Equation 394 partially with respect to R,

Using this and Equation 394 in Equation 375, the following ex-

pression is obtained:

tKroon and Davenport"Spiral Springs with Small Number of Turns", Journal,

Kranklin Institute, Vol. 225, 1938, Page 171.

SPRINGS WITH FEW TURNS

dM

dR

(395)

SPIRAL SPRINGS

339

During deflection of the end of the spring through an angle

<f>, the moment M, will also move through the same angle. From

the Castigliano theorem this condition gives

dU 1 /' 8M

%J 0

(386)

From Equation 394, dM/dM^l. Using this in Equation 396,

together with Equation 394,

<t>=^j^'Mds=^jJ^P(rt+y)+M1 - Rx]ds (397)

Another equation is also obtained from the Castigliano

theorem which states that the total deflection in the direction of

the force P must be equal to dU/dP. Since P is always assumed

to be directed along the arc of motion of the end A, Fig. 186, this

deflection will be r2</>. Hence

dU

dP EI

dM

Mds

. (398)

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dp

But from Equation 394, dM/dP~r2-\-y. Using this together

with Equation 394 in Equation 398,

r^~Elf [p(r'+y)+M,-Rx] (r'+3')rfs (3")

If the center line of the spring is taken in the form of a spiral,

Equations 395, 397 and 399 may

be integrated over the total length

I. This gives three simultaneous

equations in P, Mi and R from

which these latter quantities may

be found. Knowing these, the

bending moment M at any point

may be found from Equation 394.

By differentiation the location of

the maximum value of the moment

along the spiral may be obtained

and from this the actual value of Fig iseSpiral spring with

the maximum moment M,. If M small number of rums

340

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

is the external moment (this is also the maximum moment for a

spring with clamped ends and a large number of turns) the ratio

Mm/M between maximum moment and external moment may be

considered as a stress concentration factor. Values of this ratio

IB,

14

12

sty

III 1 1 1 . . .

360 440 520 600 680 760 840 920 1000 1080

6 = TOTAL ANGLE OF COL (IN DEGREES)

Fig. 187Stress concentration factor a for spring with few turns

Mm/Mo plotted in Fig. 187 as functions of the total spiral angle tI

for various values of the function A=(r2 r1)/ri have been ob-

tained by Kroon and Davenport1. The value of 6 is taken as the

angle swept out by the radius vector in traveling from one end

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of the spiral to the other.

From Fig. 187 it is seen that the stress concentration effect

due to a small number of turns is somewhat greater for the larger

values of A. In addition the stress concentration values are

smaller when the total coil angle 6 is near 360, 720 or 1080 de-

grees, i.e. for 1, 2, or 3 full turns. This is shown by the dips in the

curves and suggests that it is of advantage when designing spiral

springs of this type to use a whole rather than a fractional, num-

ber of turns if possible. From Fig. 187 it is also seen that as the

total coil angle 6 increases, the maximum values of the ratio

Mm/M also decrease, i.e., the stress concentration effect de-

creases. However, even for 0=1080 degrees (3 turns) and A

.6, the ratio M,/M is still equal to almost 1.2 which means that

maximum stress will still be almost 20 per cent higher than that

given by Equation 386, derived on the assumption of a large

SPIRAL SPRINGS

341

angle 6. These values for stress concentration effect may be

modified slightly by the effects of imperfect clamping at the

ends of the spring.

In addition it will be found that because of the small num-

ber of turns the spring is somewhat stiffer than would be ex-

pected on the basis of the simple formula (Equation 385) de-

rived for a large number of turns. The more accurate analysis'

shows that the angular deflection at a moment M is given by

(400)

J. MJ

In this the factor fi (which is greater than unity) depends

on the total angle 6 of the spiral and on the ratio A. Values of this

factor are given in Fig. 188. However, for ratios A between .4

51 1

^V

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y-

! k. f

3,

440

520 600 680 760 640 920 000 OflC

- TOTAL ANGLE OF COL C IN DEGREES )

Fig. 188Stiffness factor p for spiral spring with small number of turns

and .6 and for more than two turns of the spiral this factor differs

from unity by less than 4 per cent and may usually be neg-

lected for practical purposes, i.e., the usual formula (Equation

385) may be applied. However, from Fig. 18S it may be seen

that a 15 per cent error is involved in the usual formula where

A = .6 for a spring with only one turn.

Values of the radial deflection at various points along the

spiral are of interest since in general the designer should try to

342

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

w 80 160 240 320 400 480 560 640 720 800 880 960 1040

f = ANGLE ALONG COIL C IN DEGREES)

Fig. 189Curves for finding the radial deflection of coils of spiral

spring. Angle \p measured from outer end

avoid having the coils touch during deflection. These quantities

have been worked out4 as functions of the angle along the spiral

for various numbers of turns and for various values of the ratio A;

the results are plotted in Fig. 189. The ordinates represent radial

deflection 8 divided by <f>r.,. In this <f> is the angular deflection of

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the spring due to the external moment while \p is the angle meas-

SPIRAL SPRINGS

343

ured along the spiral from the outer end. By using these curves

the necessary spacing between coils may be worked out for

springs with various numbers of turns. For further details the

reader is referred to the paper by Kroon and Davenport4.

In the design of spiral springs where the thickness is fairly

large, a further stress concentration enters due to the fact that

the spring is, in effect, a curved bar. This stress concentration is

usually small but may be determined for a given thickness and

radius of curvature by using curves given for torsion springs in

Fig. 180, Chapter XVII.

The curves of Figs. 187 and 188 apply only to spiral springs

with clamped outer ends. Where the outer end is pin connected

and few turns are involved, an analysis may be carried out using

similar methods, and more exact expressions for deflection and

stress obtained. These expressions are rather cumbersome and

for further details the reader is referred to the publication by

Gross and Lehr5.

WORKING STRESSES

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Calculated working stresses in spiral springs may run as

high as 175,000 to 250,000 pounds per square inch or more where

fatigue conditions are not a factor. For example, an ordinary

clock spring during its life may be subject to less than 5000 cycles

and hence may be stressed much higher than would be the case

where millions of cycles are involved. Where fatigue conditions

are present (as for example in the spiral spring for the balance

wheel of a watch) the stress range should be kept well below

the endurance range of the material, stress concentration condi-

tions at the clamped edges being considered. Some data on en-

durance ranges in bending for spring materials are given in

Chapter XXIII.

LARGE DEFLECTIONCOILS IN CONTACT

The foregoing discussion has been based on the assumption

that individual coils do not touch each other. This condition,

however does not apply in many cases, as for example in the

mainspring of a watch or power spring of a phonograph where the

'Gross and LehrDie Federn, Page 73, 1938, V.D.I., Berlin.

344

MECHANICAL SPRINCS

spring is usually placed inside a hollow case as indicated in Fig.

190. Here the spring is shown wound up on the arbor. When the

spring is unwound it rests against the inside of the case as indi-

cated in Fig. 191.

The number of turns delivered by such a spring may be

estimated approximately as follows": If I is total length of spring

strip and h is the thickness, the total sectional area of the wound

spring will be Ih. But from Fig. 190 this is also equal to

(tt/4' (d,2d,2) assuming that the coils are wound tightly so that

adjacent turns touch, and neglecting the turns connecting the

wound part with the case. Thus,

Solving this for d2,

cU-^^-lh+dS

(401)

Also assuming that adjacent coils touch, the number of

turns n becomes

(402)

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2h

Substituting the value of d2 given by Equation 401, the ex-

pression for n becomes

-Ih+df -d,

1403)

2h

It should be noted that if the spring is oiled, adjacent turns

will be separated by the thickness of the oil film and this will in-

troduce some error in the equation.

Considering the condition when the spring is unwound as

indicated in Fig. 191, if n' be the number of turns of the unwound

spring, and again neglecting the turns connecting the inside of

the wound portion with the arbor,

"Number of Tunis Delivered by Flat Coiled Springs", The Mainspring, Spring 7,

Coil 2, August, 193", published by Wallace Barnes Co.

SPIRAL SPRIXGS

345

(404)

Also, as before, since the area of the wound portion must be

equal to hi

(405)

From this

Dl = ^D,2-hl

Substituting Equation 406 in 404,

d,' - hi

(406)

2h

-(407)

The total number of turns N delivered by the spring in un-

winding from the wound position of Fig. 190 to the unwound

SPRING

CASE

SPRING

CASE

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ARBOR

Fig. 190Spiral spring

wound on the arbor

Fig. 191Unwound

spring against case

position of Fig. 191 will be the difference between n and n'.

Hence the number of turns delivered becomes:

N=n-n'

4h -(D,+d,)

2h

(408)

346 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

<

Since the turns connecting the wound part of the spring

with the arbor or case are neglected in this derivation the results

given by Equation 408 are somewhat high. To obtain more ac-

curate results, the value of N should be multiplied with a correc-

tion factor k less than unity. Values of this correction factor are

dependent on the ratio m of drum area minus arbor area divided

by spring area, where

m (409)

In

Values of k for various values of m as suggested by Wallace

Barnes Co." are given in Table XXXIII.

It is seen that for values of m between 5 and 1.5 a reduction

in number of turns below that calculated from Equation 408 of

from 15 to 33 per cent may be expected.

To avoid excessive stress concentration due to curvature

effects, the arbor diameter is usually made around 15 to 25 times

the strip thickness.

Example: A spiral spring is wound from a strip %-inch

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wide, .015-inch thick and 100 inches long. The arbor diameter

Table XXXIII

Values of k for Various Values of m

m 5 4 3 2 1.5

k .672 .702 .739 .796 .85

is %-inch and the inner diameter of the case 2V4 inches. The

problem is to find the number of turns delivered from the solid

to the free condition. Thus h = M5, Z=100, D,= 2.25, ^ = .375.

From Equation 409,

I[(2.25)'-(.375)"]

m = -=2.58

.015X100

From Table XXXIII, by interpolation for m=2.58, fc = .76.

Using the given values of h, I, D., and dl in Equation 408

the calculated value of N becomes 19.6 turns. This must be mul-

tiplied by the correction factor fc .76 which yields a value

SPIRAL SPRINGS

347

19.6 X .76=14.9 turns for the number of turns delivered.

Where a spiral spring has a large number of turns the equa-

tions for calculating stress and deflection become simple pro-

vided the coils do not come in contact during deflection. Where

the number of turns is small and the outer end is clamped the

peak moment and deflection may be calculated by means of the

curves given.

Where the spring is wound tightly, as in the case of the

mainspring of a watch, the relatively simple expressions given

facilitate calculation of the turns delivered. Because of friction

and other uncertainties, in this case a determination of torque

delivered as a function of the angle or number of turns is rather

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uncertain and will not be discussed here.

CHAPTER XIX

RING SPRINGS

Where space is limited and a relatively large amount of

energy must be absorbed, a type of spring known as the "ring

spring" may well merit consideration by the designer1. This is

particularly true if the application is one where a large amount

of damping is also desirable, such as for example, draft gear

springs for railway use-.

As its name implies the ring spring consists essentially of a

series of rings having conical surfaces and assembled as indicated

m Fi<is. 192 and 193. When an axial load is applied, sliding oc-

Fig. 192Diametral sec-

tion through ring spring

curs along the conical surfaces with the result that the inner

rings are compressed and the outer rings extended. In this man-

ner an approximately uniform distribution of circumferential

stress is obtained in both inner and outer rings. Because of this

approximate uniformity of stress distribution, the ring spring is

1 O. K. Wflcander"Til" Ring Spring", Mechanical Engineering, Feb., 1926, Page

139 and "Characteristics of the Ring Spring", American Machinist. Feb. 14, 1924.

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- L. K. Endslcv "Draft Gear SpringsPast and Present", Railua9 Mechanical

Engineer, July 1933.

348

RING SPRINGS

349

commonly assumed to act essentially as a bar in simple tension

and to have a correspondingly high efficiency (considered on the

basis of allowable energy storage per pound of metal). Actual-

ly, because of compression stresses at the conical surfaces of

the outside rings, there will be a slight nonuniformity in equiva-

lent stress distribution. Where a tension and compression stress

act at right angles as in this case, the equivalent stresson the

basis of the maximum shear theory of strengthwill be the sum

of the numerical magnitudes of these tension and compression

stresses.

In addition, where the radial thickness of the rings is ap-

preciable, there is some nonuniformity in circumferential stress

since the ring behaves like a thick cylinder under internal or ex-

ternal pressure. For most springs, however, this nonuniformity

in equivalent stress distribution will not be large and hence this

type of spring will have a relatively high efficiency. On the other

hand, it should be noted that the damping in this spring is ob-

tained at the expense of a certain amount of wear on the sliding

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surfaces even if lubricated according to usual practice.

Courtesy, United Engineering and Foundry Co.

Fig. 193Ring spring and rotating block for

forging press in which the spring is utilized

350

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

STRESS CALCULATIONS

A typical load-deflection hysteresis loop for the ring spring

is shown in Fig. 194. From this it may be seen that on the com-

pression stroke a much higher spring constant (in terms of pounds

per inch deflection) is obtained than for the return stroke. This

is due to the friction forces on the conical faces of the rings which,

for an increasing load, are added to the elastic forces caused by

distortion of the rings but for a decreasing load are subtracted

in

in

<

<

y/

//

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12 3 4 5

DEFLECTION, INCHES

Fig. 194Typical load-deflection diagram of ring spring

showing typical hysteresis loop during loading and unloading

from the elastic forces. Thus a large hysteresis loop is obtained

with correspondingly high energy absorption per cycle.

Referring to Fig. 195, for practical purposes of analysis each

conical surface of the ring spring may be considered as subject

to a total normal force N distributed uniformly around the cir-

RING SPRINGS

351

cumference and a friction force F=/xJV (when n is the coefficient

of friction). This latter force acts in the direction shown when the

spring, is being compressed, and in an opposite direction when

the spring is being extended. These forces N and F produce

Fig. 195Forces acting on element of ring spring

primarily a compression of the ring, although there is at the same

time a tendency of the ring to bend like a bar on elastic founda-

tion". This latter effect, however, may be neglected for practical

design purposes. It will also be assumed that the ring thickness

is small compared to the mean diameter so that the nonuniform

circumferential distribution due to the thick cylinder effect may

be neglected'.

Inner RingConsidering the inner ring of Fig. 195 and as-

suming the spring is being compressed so that the friction force

acts in the direction shown, the total radial force acting will be

equal to 2(N cos aF sin a) where a is the angle of taper of the

conical surfaces. The radial load p per inch of the circumferen-

tial center line of the ring will be the total radial force divided

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by InrTi, where r( is the mean radius of the ring. Hence this load

may be expressed as

2 (N cos a F sin a)

Taking F = nN this equation becomes

Nlcosa-psina)

p = (410)

'S. TimoshenkoStrength of Materials, Van Nostrand, Second Edition, Part 2,

Page 164.

t S. Timoshenko, loc. cit., Pnge 236.

352

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

For a thin ring, the compressive stress will be

where Ai=-sectional area of the inner ring. Substituting Equa-

tion 410 in 411,

N(cos a-iisma)

ac= -.

The axial load P acting on the spring during the compression

stroke is found by taking the components of N and F along the

axis, Fig. 195. Hence

P = N sin a+Fcos a = N(sin a+ncos a)

Solving this for N and substituting in Equation 412, the cir-

cumferential compressive stress a,- in the inner rings becomes

P COSa-VLSilta

Oc = ; :; (413).

irAi sina+fiCOSa

This equation may be reduced to the simpler form:

Ptana

a'=-VA~K (414)

where

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tanafa+tana)

K= (415)

1 it tan a

To facilitate practical use of Equation 414, values of K are

plotted against the angle a for various friction coefficients n in

the upper group of curves of Fig. 196. Where maximum ac-

curacy is desired, computation should be made by using Equa-

tion 415.

A similar procedure for calculating the circumferential ten-

sion stress at in the outer rings is used. This gives

Ptana I AIRS

TrAK

RING SPRINGS

353

where in this case Asectional area of outer ring and K is given

by Fig. 196. It should be noted that Equations 414 and 416 give

the stresses in the spring as a function of load for increasing

load P only.

Outer RingAs indicated previously, to obtain the equiva-

lent stress in the outer rings, the compressive stresses due to the

normal forces N, Fig. 195 should be added to the circumferential

tension stress a, calculated from Equation 416. These compres-

sive stresses may be computed as follows: For the outer ring

the radial load p per inch of mean circumference is obtained from

Equation 410 using r instead of r,. Thus

N(cos afi sin a)

P=

Solving for N, this gives

N- (417)

cos aii sin a

If oi is the circumferential tension stress, from the ring

formula:

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Substituting in Equation 417.

N- "A". (418)

COS a fi Sin a

Letting h equal the projected axial length of contact area at the

load P and stress at, Fig. 192 (which length may be obtained from

the calculated deflection of the spring and its geometrical propor-

tions), then the average compression stress <' in the contact re-

gion is

N cos a

(419)

2irrb

where rm (r-|-r()/2=mean radius of inner and outer rings.

This holds since the total area over which the force N acts is

2wr,b/cos a. Substituting in this the value of N given by Equa-

tion 418 the contact stress becomes

354

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

'Jill (420)

2rmb(ltitan a)

DEFLECTION

To calculate the total deflection of the spring, the radial de-

flections of the rings must first be found. For the inner ring the

radial deflection will be approximately equal to acrm/E where E

is the modulus of elasticity. The axial deflection of the spring

due to each inner ring will be two times the radial value acrm/E

divided by tan a. (The factor two is used since there are two

conical surfaces per ring). Hence if n, is the total number of in-

ner rings in the spring (a ring of half the full section being con-

sidered as half a ring), the deflection 8< due to these rings is

a,-^ (421)

E tan a

Similarly the total axial deflection 8 due to outer rings is

i = ^^ (422)

Etana

where n is the number of outer rings. This will also equal

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Letting n = n-f-ii = total number of "elements" in the

spring, each element consisting of a half inner and a half outer

ring, and adding Equations 421 and 422,

-.+.= /"- << + c) (423)

E tan a

Using values of a, - and at given by Equations 414 and 416

in this, the deflection during the compression stroke may be ex-

pressed in terms of the load P.

Prmn / . A

wEA

In this K is given by Equation 415 or Fig. 196.

The deflection and loads occuring during the unloading

or return stroke may be analyzed in a similar manner by con-

sidering that in this case the direction of the friction forces F, Fig.

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RING SPRINGS 355

:i56 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

195 will be reversed. If Pl is the load and 3, the corresponding

deflection during the return stroke,

where

g_to(tona-M) (426)

Values of K, are plotted for convenience in the lower group

of curves of Fig. 196.

The ratio between the load P, (return stroke) and the load

P (compression stroke) at any given deflection is obtained by

equating 8 and 8,, Equations 424 and 425. This gives

JO. (427)

PK

Hence to find the ratio of the spring constants for the return and

compression strokes respectively it is only necessary to take the

ratio Kx/K for the given values of /i and a. This is true since the

spring constants are proportional to the respective loads at any

given deflection.

DESIGN CALCULATION

As an example of the application of these formulas in prac-

tical design, a ring spring of the following dimensions as tested

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by Wikander1 may be considered: A, = A, = .584 in.2, r(=4.42

in., r = 4.74 in., r, = 4.58 in. tan a = .25, a-14' (approx.),

E=29X10", n = n,=9, n = 18. Tests on this ring spring indi-

cated a coefficient of friction ^ = .12. From Fig. 196, for x = 14

and n=.l2, by interpolation K = .095 and K, = .031.

Assuming a peak load P, = 100,000 pounds, from Equation

424 for an increasing load the deflection 8 is

100000X4.58X18X2

= = 3.26 in.

tX29X10X.584X.095

The load P, on the return stroke for this same deflection

will be equal to P multiplied by the ratio K, K. This gives

RING SPRINGS

357

P,= 100000X = 32,700 lb

.095

The spring constant for the compression stroke is

P 100000

i 3.26

That for the return stroke is:

= 30,700 lb/in.

30700XJ^L = 30700X-^-= 10,000 lb/in.

The tension stress a, in the outer ring at P, = 100,000 pounds

is obtained from Equation 416,

100000X.25 ,AnnM.. ,

= 143,000 lb/sq n.

tjX.584X.095

Since A,,=Ai in this case, from Equation 414, the foregoing

will also be equal to the compression stress in the inner ring.

Usually in practice, however, the inner ring area A, is made

smaller than A., since it has been found from experience that

higher working stresses may be used in compression than in ten-

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sion. For example, draft gear springs have been designed for

a circumferential tension stress of 125,000 pounds per square inch

in the outer rings as compared with a compression stress of 210,-

000 pounds per square inch in inner rings when spring is solid".

Assuming that the design proportions of (he spring are so

chosen that the projected contact length b, Fig. 192, is .79-inch

at a load of 100,000 pounds, then from Equation 420 the com-

pressive stress o-,.' in the contact area is

143000X.584 .

= 11,900 lb/sq in.

"2X4.58X.79X.97

Adding this to the tension stress at = 143,000 pounds per

square inch, the equivalent stress in the outer ring becomes

143,000+11,900=144,900 pounds per square inch. This is a

slightly higher value than would be obtained if the contact com-

pressive stresses were neglected.

As an approximate indication of loads and deflections pos-

sible for this type of spring. Table XXXIV, is useful5.

'' Data from Edgewater Steel Co.

358

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Table XXXIV

Load and Deflection Ratings*

Inches

1.1).

Pound*

O.D.

B.

tin

P>

3.750

3.093

1.521

2.124

.980

3.020

2.240

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.750

250

.778

1135

1420

3000

3250

3500

382

150

1630

1465

1430

.540

152

.480

.1750

-0265

.0286

i.h:,(,

.230

041

.0378

.724

.1785

.0164

.0179

1.813

1.906

4.305

1.917

2.242

1.498

1.530

3.982

1.530

1.785

.204

.0366

.0522

.0602

.1436

.0625

.0961

5000

5000

5760

60011

6800

1880

CHAPTER XX

VOLUTE SPRINGS

The volute spring consists essentially of a relatively wide

and relatively thin bar or blade, which has been wound to form

the shape shown in cross section in Fig. 197. Before winding,

the blade has the shape shown in Fig. 199. After winding but

before cold-setting, such a spring will have either a constant

or a variable helix angle and a variable coil radius as shown in

Fig. 197b. The cold-setting operation usually employed will,

in general, result in a change in the helix angle distribution

and a more favorable stress condition. When loaded axially

each element of the spring behaves essentially as a curved

bar under torsion, the principal stresses being torsional.

Because of certain inherent

advantages, the volute spring

has found increasing application

in recent years, particularly in

the military field. Among these

advantages are the following:

Compactness, ease of manufac-

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ture, damping produced by fric-

tion between turns, and a spring

rate which increases at high de-

flection, thus tending to protect

the spring against overload.

These advantages are partially

offset by a rather unfavorable

stress distribution within the

spring which tends to lower the

endurance or fatigue strength.

The curved load-deflection

characteristic of the volute

springs is due primarily to the

"bottoming" of the coils above a

359

-360

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

certain load. This means that beyond a certain load some of the

outer coils contact the supporting plate, increasing the stiffness.

To obtain a more favorable stress distribution the thickness

of the bar is frequently tapered near the inner end of the coil'.

CONSTANT HELIX ANGLE

Method of AnalysisTo calculate stresses and deflections in

volute springs, each element of the coil may, for practical pur-

poses, be considered essentially as a portion of an axially loaded

helical spring of the same coil radius and having a rectangular

cross-section. This method thus neglects friction between ad-

Fig. 198Volute spring suspension for M-5 tank

jacent turns, as well as certain secondary stresses which are diffi-

cult to compute. Some of these stresses arise from the fact that

the resultant load P, Fig. 197 in general will not be axial as as-

sumed in the calculations but will be displaced from the axis of

the spring, thus giving rise to additional stresses caused by this

eccentricity2. In addition, certain stresses known as cone and arch

stresses are present which may modify the results1. To simplify

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1 For a comprehensive discussion of volute spring calculations including the effect

of tapering the inner end thickness sec article by B. Sterne, "Characteristics of the

Volute Spring," Journal S.A.E., June 1942, Page 221. See also paper by H. O. Fuchs,

"Notes on Secondary Stresses in Volute Springs," Transactions ASME, July 1943, Page

543; and "A Design Method for Volute Springs", Journal S.A.E., Sept. 1943, Page 317.

Results of fatigue tests arc given in article by B. Sterne, Transactions A.S.M.E., July

1943, Page 523.

'Paper by Dohrenwend, Proceedings Society for Experimental Stress Analysis.

Vol. 1, Page 94, gives results of strain measurements and eccentricity determinations

on volute springs.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

361

Fig. 199Developed volute spring

the problem, a constant, free helix angle will first be assumed.

Later, effects of variable helix angle will be treated.

Bottoming LoadsReferring to Fig. 200 which represents

the developed center line of the blade of a volute spring, the

spring at zero load is indicated by the line AB, a being the free

helix angle (assumed constant). In this the ordinate represents

the height of the blade center line, and the abscissa the distance

from outer end A. At moderate loads before the outer end starts

to bottom, the developed length will be represented by the

dashed line AE, while at heavy loads when a portion AC of the

outer coil is bottomed the developed length is represented by

ACD.

Up to a certain load P, (which will be called the initial bot-

toming load) at which the outer coil just starts to bottom, the

load-deflection characteristic will be a straight line as indicated

in Fig. 201. Above this load, as the coils bottom, the spring be-

comes stiffer as indicated and the load-deflection characteristic

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curves upward.

In calculating the initial bottoming load it will be assumed

tl

UJ

<

S - LENGTH ALONG COIL

Fig. 200Development of center line of volute spring for constant

free helix angle. At heavy loads spring bottoms between to and r

362

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

that the coil radius r at any angle 6 from the built-in outer end A

(Fig. 197b) may be represented approximately by a spiral. This

will be sufficiently accurate for most practical purposes. Thus

"oO - iln) (428)

where

H= r~r<- (429)

r, Ti are the radii at the beginning and end, respectively, of the

active portion of the spring (Fig. 197) and n is the number of

active coils.

The deflection per turn of a helical spring of narrow rec-

tangular cross section, where the long side of the section is paral-

lel to the spring axis and where the width b (Fig. 197a) is greater

than 2.7h, as is usually the case in volute springs, is given with

sufficient accuracy by the following equation':

6*Pr -. (430)

Gbh?

where P=load on spring, /i = thickness of blade, b = blade width,

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G=modulus of rigidity, r=coil radius.

In a small angle d6, the increment of the deflection dS will

be equal to 8* multiplied by dd/2w. Hence, using Equation 430

dB 3Pr>d8

dJ = s - (431)

2t G6*(l-.63A)

In this r=mean coil radius at angle 6 (Fig. 197/7).

From Fig. 200, bottoming of the outer coil may be expected

to start for constant, free helix angle when the slope dS/ds at the

outer mean radius r (Fig. 197) is equal to the tangent of the

helix angle a, or when

dS .

= tan a

()

Since a is usually small in practical volute springs the tangent of

'Chapter XII, Page 218.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

363

the angle may with sufficient accuracy be taken equal to the

angle in radians. Taking dsrd6 and tan oc = a, this condition

becomes

(432).

Putting r=r in Equation 431, and substituting in Equation

432, the initial bottoming load P, for constant free helix angle

becomes

Gbh'a^l - .63y

In this the helix angle ac is expressed in radians (degrees divided

by 57.3).

DeflectionCalculation of deflection will be discussed for

two conditions, namely, where the loads are less than initial bot-

Fig. 201 Load-deflection

characteristic of volute spring

DEFLECTION

toming loads and where they are greater.

When P<P,: To calculate the deflection 8 for loads P that

are less than the initial bottoming load P Equation 428 and

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431 may be used. Substituting the value of r given by Equation

428 in 431, the increment of deflection in small angle d6 becomes

3'^,^^('-^)'^'-

Gbh?

(434)

364

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Integrating this between the limits 0=0 and 6 2irn where

n is the number of active coils, the total deflection (for loads un-

der the initial bottoming load) may be expressed as

= (2r/iraK,), when P<P, (435}

where P, is given by Equation 433, and

3 s3

/f,= l - fi+p- (436)

Values of Kt are plotted as functions of fi- (r ri)/r in

Fig. 202. The values r and r, in this expression depend on the

design of the end coils (Fig. 197). Where these latter are tapered

as indicated in Fig. 197, three-fourths turn at each end is fre-

-2

0 2 A .6 .8 W

Fig. 202Curve for finding factor K, as function of $

quently considered inactive, but this figure may be changed as

further test data become available.

Thus to calculate deflection at any load P less than P, the

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simple formula of Equation 435 may be used, the value K1 being

read from the curve of Fig. 202. It should be noted that Equation

VOLUTE STW.VCS

365

435 will also apply for the case of a variable free helix angle pro-

vided no bottoming of the coils occurs.

When P>P,: Where the load P is above the bottoming load

P the deflection 8 for a constant free helix angle may be con-

sidered as composed of two parts, e.g., a part 8' (Fig. 200) due to

the compression of the bottomed portion AC of the spring and

a part 8" due to the deflection of the free portion CD. Assum-

ing that the coils have bottomed to a radius r* and angle 6' as in-

dicated in Fig. 200, then from the condition dS/ds a at the

radius r=r' and by proceeding as before the following is ob-

tained:

VaGbh^l

'- f)

(437)

In this, c' = 2r'/h = spring index at r~r'.

Also by taking r=ro and 6=6' in Equation 428, the angle

6' may be expressed as follows:

2irn / c' \

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r- (l--) (438)

where c=2r//=spring index at r=r,,.

Assuming as before that tan a = a, the deflection 8' is given

by

6'= f arde (439)

Using Equation 428 in this and integrating,

J'-ar.sY 1 - l)9'-) (440)

\ 4irn /

By using Equations 433, 437 and 438 this equation may be

expressed in terms of the ratio P/P, as follows:

^ 7Tar,

"0 (441)

The deflection 8" will be obtained by summing up the ele-

mentary deflection do between the limits 6=6' and 6=2wn. Thus,

using Equation 434,

mi

MECHANICAL SPR1NGS

J,' GbhHX-.&Zh/b)

Integrating this, simplifying and adding to the value of 8*

given by Equation 441, the total deflection 8 becomes for P>P1:

& = S'+S" = 2*nra(^-Kl - ) (443)

where K2 is a function of the ratio P/P,.

-r(&+-5r-') >

Values of K2 are given as functions of P/P in Fig. 203. By

using this curve and that of Fig. 202, the deflection at any load

P may easily be calculated. In this manner the complete load-

deflection characteristic of the spring for a constant initial helix

angle may be obtained.

To find the load P2 at which all coils bottom the procedure is

as follows. From Equation 437, by using the expression for P,

given by Equation 433,

c r. J P

. (445)

Bottoming of all active coils will occur when r,=r( and

P=P2. Using Equation 445 and taking /?= (r r, )/> the final

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bottoming load P2 becomes

'-(Af-(~)''

446)

The deflection S2 at the load P, is obtained by taking 6'2n-n

in Equation 439 and integrating, using the value of r given by

Equation 428. This also gives the difference between free and

solid height:

^jy'('--^)4,mU^('--r) (447)

Solving this for a the helix angle in terms of is

VOLUTE SPRINGS

367

. (448)

Since the free and solid heights of the spring are known,

the helix angle a (in radians) may be calculated from this equa-

tion. The deflection 8, at which initial bottoming occurs is ob-

tained from Equation 435 taking P = P1. This gives

, = 2irnra/fi (449)

To construct an approximate load-deflection curve for any

I.0

.80

.70

.60

.50

.40

.30

.25

.20

.15

.10

.07

.06

.05

.04

I-

.03

.025

if

Oi

.019

.01

.008

.007

.006

.005

.004

.0035

.003

iff

>

jy

<

1.2

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.08

1.3 1.4 1.5

LOAD RATIO P/t>

1.6

1.7

1.8

Fig. 203Curves for finding factor K: from load ratio P/P,

368

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

spring having a constant initial helix angle it is only necessary

to calculate P P2, 8, and 8, from Equations 433, 446, 447 and 449.

A straight line is then drawn between the origin and point A

representing P, and 8, (Fig. 201). Point B (representing P, and

82) is connected to A by a smooth curve concave upward. For

greater accuracy, if desired, additional points on this curve may-

be calculated from Equation 443. Thus the load-deflection dia-

gram may be determined simply.

Stress CalculationsTo calculate the stress, the formulas for

rectangular bar helical springs will be used, modified to apply

to the volute spring. As mentioned previously, these stresses

should be considered only as first approximations because addi-

tional secondary stress usually will be present.

When P<P,: Where the load P is less than the initial bot-

toming load P the peak stress will occur at the maximum radius

rrn. Using the approximate equation for a rectangular bar

spring with b>3h and with the long side of the rectangle paral-

lel to the spring axis as discussed previously4, the maximum shear

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stress t (where PSP,) becomes

In this c = 2r/h =spring index at r=r(l. Where h/b is small,

i.e., where the blade is wide compared to the thickness, the term

1,63h/b may be taken as unit)'. This gives, approximately,

JP(c^l)-

2hb

When P>P1: Where the load is greater than the initial bot-

toming load, the maximum shear stress t will occur at r=r'

where r' is the radius at which bottoming occurs. Thus Equa-

tion 450 may be used, putting cv=cf where c'~2r'/h=spring

index at r r'. This gives

3P(c+l)

when P?P,

(450)

3P(c'+l) - - , when P>Pi

(452)

1 Chapter XII, Page 213.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

30!)

Since from Equation 445, c' = c\/PJP, by substitution of

this in Equation 452, the stress at any load P (for P>P,) becomes

3p(c.y^+i)

( - -4)

(453)

2hb

When final bottoming occurs, the load P = P,. Using the value

of PJP, given by Equation 446 in Equation 453 the peak stress

t., at the final bottoming load P, may be expressed by

3P.(c, + l)

(' - <)

. (454)

2hb

where c 2r,,/i = spring index at r=r,.

Substituting in this the value of P., given by Equation 446

DEFLECTION, INCHES

-200O

8000

6000

'/

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oooo

AUUU

2000

000 40000 GO

000 80O00 100000 120000

Fig. 204Load-deflection and load-stress curves,

P P, initial and final bottoming loads

and the value of Pt given by Equation 433, the stress r2 for final

bottoming reduces to the simple expression

2Ga(a+l)

.(455)

370

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

These formulas include the effect of bar curvature. If it is

desired to neglect this effect where static loading is present, the

calculation may be made using the same equations (450 to 455),

but reducing the expression in the parenthesis of the numerator

by unity. (Thus in Equation 450, to do this c is taken instead of

c + l in the numerator). For most volute springs this will not

make a great deal of difference, however.

Application to Practical DesignAs an example of the use

of these equations in practical design a volute spring with a

constant initial helix angle and with the following dimensions

may be considered: r = 2%-inch, r, = lV4-inch, h~V4-inch, b=5-

inch=solid height, free height7Mi-inch, c 2r/7i = 20,

C( = 2r,//i10, n = 4 = number of active coils,/3= (rr()/r=

.5.

The solid deflection 82 will be the difference between the

free and solid heights; thus 8., = 2%-inch. From Equation 448

the helix angle a is

St 2.5

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= .0531 radians

, . ,. , 2irX4X2.5X.75

2irnr,

Taking G11.5X10" for steel, the peak shear stress with

the spring solid becomes, from Equation 455,

2X11.5X(10)X.0531X11 1L , .

= 135000 lb/sq in.

(10)=

The initial bottoming load P, is, from Equation 433,

11.5X(10yX5X(.25)3X.0531X.969

1= 3(2.5)2

Shear stress at the initial bottoming load P, from Equation 450 is

3X2460X21 ,L ,

r,- - = 64000 lb/sq in.

2X.25X5X.969

From Equation 446 the final load P, is found:

2460

P2 - = 9840 lb

(.5)2

The deflection S1 at the initial bottoming load P1 is given by

371

io

.6

.2

0 .2 4 .6 .8 1.0

r.

Fig. 203Assumed distribution of helix angle as

function of radius for various z values

Equation 449, using the value of K, = .47 given by Fig. 202 for

ft=.5. This gives

i, = 2xnrao, = 2JrX4X2.5X.0531X.47=1.57 in.

The value 82 for the final bottoming load P., will be the difference

between the free and solid height, i.e., 8., = 7.5 5 = 2.5-inch.

Knowing 8^ 82, P,, and P, a load deflection curve similar to Fig.

201 may be plotted for this particular spring. A similar load-

stress curve may be plotted, since the stress will vary linearly with

load up to initial bottoming load P,. The stress at any load be-

tween P, and P, may be calculated from Equation 453. In this

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manner the complete load-stress and load-deflection diagrams

as given in Fig. 204 are obtained for this case. From these dia-

grams, if desired, a stress-deflection curve may also be plotted.

VARIABLE HELIX ANCLE

As mentioned previously, the process of manufacture in

general results in a helix angle which increases from inside to

outside of the spring. The amount of this variation in helix

>>*

angle depends on the conditions obtaining during the cold-setting

process and on the method of winding. An analysis based on

the assumption that the variation of free helix angle is linear

from the inner to the outer radius has been carried out by

Fuchs5. This assumption may be expressed by

aa ai r r,-

In this a, a, and a are the helix angles at radii r, r, and r respec-

tively (Fig. 197). The relative variation of the helix angle may

be expressed by a number z where

(457)

6 S.A.E. Journal, Sept. 1943, Puge 317. This also discusses design of presetting

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bowls for volute springs.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

373

For z = 0 the case of constant free helix angle is obtained

while for z = l approximately constant bottoming stress will exist

(neglecting corrections for curvature). Ratios of (x/a are plotted

against r,'r in Fig. 205, for the various values of z. This gives an

idea of the relative variation in free helix angle with radius, for

different values of z.

Load-DeflectionAssuming elastic conditions, similar load-

deflection diagrams will be obtained for all springs with given val-

ues of z and q. Thus the actual load-deflection diagram may be

found by multiplying a given "type curve" by certain scale ratios.

Approximate type curves for values of z = 0, V*, % and 1 have

been computed by Fuchs" and are given in Figs. 206, 207, 208, 209,

and 210. On each figure curves are drawn for r jr equal to .3, .4,

.5, .6, and .7 corresponding to springs with small, medium or large

ratios of inside to outside diameters. Initial and final bottoming

loads are indicated by the circles on each curve. The abscissas

i-

a,

<'

Ml

II,

I1

'/I

,"

77;

JL

(//

'ffl

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<

//'A

OEFLECTION RATIOf

Fig. 208Type curves for z %,

volute spring, q = rJro

^DEFLECTION RAtIOj

Fig. 209Type curves for z =

volute spring, f/ = r(/r

374

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

of these figures are plotted in terms of the maximum possible

deflection 8, the ordinates in terms of a load P. , where

Sh = nraaiK3 (458)

K _ 2i r \

zd-q3) , (1-z)(1-9')-

(459)

In this q = ri/r and z is given by Equation 457. Values of K3

may be taken from the curve of Fig. 211 for various values of z.

where

(460)

Values of K> are plotted in Fig. 212 against <7 = r,/r. For

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further details the reader is referred to the article by Fuchs5.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

375

Thus to get the actual load-deflection curve for any spring

with a given value of z and q the ordinates of the corresponding

type curve must be multiplied by P, and the abscissas by Sb. In-

terpolation can be used if necessary.

It should be noted that the initial bottoming load P, may be

Fig. 211Constant K,

plotted as a function of

ri/r for various z values

obtained from Equation 433 using a = a. For the usual spring

where h/b is small the shear stress t at which bottoming starts

is found by using Equation 450 taking P = P1. This gives

3_ P,(c+1)

2 hb

(462)

In this c, = index 2r/h at r=r. If the value of P, given by

Equation 433 is substituted in this the initial bottoming stress

becomes:

2r'

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(463)

376

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

If curvature effects are neglected the term unity in the

parentheses of this expression is dropped, obtaining the simple

formula

r.- GHa- (464)

In a similar manner the final bottoming load is given by

Equation 433 taking a=a( and using r, instead of r,.. This gives

GbVa, / h \

p'=-3^ V ~ -63t)

(465)

Shear stress at the inner end (r = r,) at final bottoming load

is given by Equation 455 using a, in this case instead of a:

Ghat ^ c.+l \

(466)

where Ci = 2r(//i = index at r=r(,

If curvature effects are neglected this reduces to the simple

expression:

r^-ai (467)

Design CalculationAs an example of the use of these

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formulas in design assuming r = 3.75, r, = 1.93, fo = 7.50, h

.40 inches, n=4, G=llX10" lb, sq. in., a--.076, a,-=.060,

(7 = .515, z = .434 from Equation 457. From Fig. 211, for q .515,

= = .434, K3=5.5, and from Fig. 212, ^ = .053. Using Equations

460 and 458

11X10"X7.5X(.4)3X.060X.053X5.5

Pm _ = 6550 lb

S, = 4X3.75X.060X5.5 = 4.95

The difference in deflection obtained by using the curves for

z=y* and z = ^, (Figs. 207 and 208) for q = .5 does not amount

to more than .1-inch at any load, which is very small compared

to the peak deflection. Hence either curve may be used for con-

structing an approximate load-deflection diagram.

VOLUTE SPRINGS

377

To find the initial bottoming stress t, neglecting curvature,

Equation 464 is used. This gives

11X10"X.4X.076

3/75"

= 89,000 lb/sq in.

To include the effect of curvature this stress is multiplied

Fig. 212Constant K4 as a function of rl/r

by the ratio (c-\-l)/c where c = 2r/h = l8.7. This gives

r,,= 89,000X19.7/18.7 = 94,000 pounds per square inch.

To find the peak bottoming stress t,, neglecting curvature,

Equation 467 is used. This gives

11X10'X.4X.06

1.93

= 137,000 lb/sq in.

To include effects of curvature the stress thus found is mul-

tiplied by (ci + l)/c( where Ci = index 2rf/7i=9.7. The stress

then becomes /-,=--= 137,000( 10.7/9.7) =151,000 pounds per square

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inch.

CHAPTER XXI

RUBBER SPRINGS AND MOUNTINGS

Inherent advantages of rubber springs include high energy

storage per unit volume and the possibility of forming in com-

plicated shapes. For these reasons such springs have found

increasing application as vibration isolators for machinery,

flexible mountings for automobile and aircraft engines, mount-

Courtesy, B. F. Goodrich Co.

Fig. 213Rubber springs applied to compressor mounting

ings for instruments, flexible elements in couplings, and many

others. An example of the application of rubber springs to a

refrigerant compressor mounting is shown in Fig. 213.

Although the subject is so large that an extensive treatment

of rubber springs and mountings is beyond the scope of this book,

completeness requires that at least the fundamental principles of

design be touched upon. It should be emphasized that the ex-

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378

RUBBER SPRINGS

379

tent of our knowledge of the behavior of rubber under stress is

not comparable to that of the more usual spring materials such as

the various steels, phosphor bronze and the like. Consequently,

the calculation of rubber springs by available methods is at best

only approximate. Among the reasons for variations between

the predicted and actual behavior of such springs are the fol-

lowing:

1. Variations in clastic or shear moduli may occur among different

rubber compounds even though of the same hardness reading.

2. In the case of compression springs of rubber, friction between

compressed surfaces may vary through wide limits thus affecting

the behavior of the spring. Where rubber pads arc bonded to

steel plates, such v ariations will not occur, however.

3. The static and dynamic moduli of elasticity will differ.

4. In general, rubber springs are deflected by relativ ely large amounts,

and such deflections are more difficult to calculate accurately

Methods of calculating stress and deflection of various types

of rubber mountings will first be treated after which the funda-

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mental principles involved in the choice of flexibilities for such

mountings will be discussed.

One of the most commonly used types of rubber springs is

the simple compression block shown in Fig. 214 which represents

a rectangular slab of rubber compressed between two steel plates.

Because of tangential forces developed at the surfaces of the block

during compression, the stiffness of such a spring is far larger

when h is small (compared to the other two dimensions) than

COMPRESSION SPRINGS

Fig. 214Compression

block of rubber, loaded

380

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

when h is large. If the rubber is not bonded on, the stiffness

may vary considerably for different amounts of friction between

the surfaces of contact. Thus if the plates are lubricated with

vaseline (or heavy grease) much larger deflections may be ex-

pected for short slabs than would be the case if dry surfaces

100 200 300 400 500

MODULUS OF ELASTICITY IN COMPRESSION ( LB/SO, IN.

J. F. D. Smith, journal of Applied Mechanics. 193S.

Fig. 215Modulus of elasticity of rubber in compression as

function of durometer hardness number

were used. Because of the uncertain amount of friction present,

when no bonding is used calculations of deflection in such cases

must be considered roughly approximate only.

The following empirical method was developed by Smith1,

taking as a basis an average of a considerable number of tests.

For this discussion, n = percentage deflection of slab of rubber

at a given unit pressure, A = sectional area of slab, /ff ratio of

length of slab to width, h = thickness, modulus of elasticity

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of the rubber used. An average curve of the variation of modulus

1 For further details see "Rubber Mountings"J. F. Downie Smith, Journal of

Applied Mechanics, March, 1938, Page A13; and "Rubber SpringsShear Loading"

by the same author, journal of Applied Mcch., Dec., 1939, Page A159. Other articles

of interest on rubber are: "Rubber Springs"W. O. Keys, Mechanical Engineering. May,

1937, Page 345; "Elastic Behavior of Vulcanized Rubber"H. Hencky, Transactions

ASME, 1933, Page 45: "Rubber Cushioning Devices"Hirschfield and Piron, Trans-

actions ASME, Aug. 1937, Page 471; "The Mechanical Characteristics of Rubber"

F. L. Haushalter, Transactions ASME. Feb., 1939, Page 149. "Use of Rubber in Vi-

bration Isolation"E. H. Hull, Journal of Applied Mechanics, Sept. 1937, Page 109.

RUBBER SPRINGS

381

of elasticity in compression with durometer hardness is given in

Fig. 215. Emodulus of elasticity of rubber having 55 durometer

hardness, percentage deflection of a 1-inch cube of 55 durom-

eter hardness rubber; n may be taken from the average curve of

Fig. 216 if the loading is known. Then an empirical expression for

percentage compression of rubber slabs is

n.Eg (hfi)'

(468)

Example. As an example of the use of this equation, assum-

ing a rubber slab of 65 durometer hardness, a sectional area

A=8X4=32 in.', thickness=l inch, and load=10,000 pounds,

4 3 6 7 89 10 IS 20 30 40 30 60 60 100

DEFLECTION OF HNCH CUBE PER CENT

from J. F. D. Smith

Fig. 216Mean load-deflection curve for 55 duro rubber

the ratio f} will be 8/4=2. From Fig. 215 the modulus of elas-

ticity for 55 durometer rubber is E=310 pounds per square inch.

For 65 durometer rubber E=430 pounds per square inch. The

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unit pressure will be 10000/32=312 pounds per square inch.

382

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

From Fig. 216 the deflection n of a 1-inch cube of 55 durometer

rubber at this pressure will be 57 per cent. Using these values in

Equation 468, the percentage compression at 10,000 pounds load

becomes:

57X310 (1X2)"

430

V32

= 11.6%

By finding values of n at other loads, a load-deflection diagram

may be constructed.

SIMPLE SHEAR SPRING

Since rubber in pure shear involves no volume change, fric-

tional effects at surfaces of contact such as may occur in com-

pression slabs are not present and better accuracy in calculation

may be expected. Rubber shear springs which have essentially

the form shown in Fig. 217 consisting of two rubber pads bonded

to steel plates are widely used for vibration isolation and machine

mounting. Such an application is shown in Fig. 213.

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This type of spring may be calculated as follows: Assuming

that the shear angle T in radians is proportional to shear stress

-J

RUBBER

.STEEL

Fig. 217Simple rubber shear spring

and inversely proportional to the modulus of rigidity G (accord-

ing to Smith1 this assumption gives the better agreement between

theory and practice), then the shear stress t=P/2A and

2AG

radians (469)

where A is the sectional area of each pad. The factor 2 is used

RUBBER SPRINGS

383

since in this case there are two pads si/bjected to the load P.

(To obtain the angle in degrees the value given by Equation 469

must be multiplied by 57.3). The modulus of rigidity G depends

B4

I01 i i i i i i i i i i i i i

40 60 80 100 120 140 160

C- MODULUS OF RIGIDITY, LFA/SQ. IN.

from J. F. D. Smith

Fig. 218Modulus of rigidity as function of hardness

on the durometer hardness of the rubber and may be estimated

from the curve of Fig. 218.

To calculate the deflection 8 of the spring of Fig. 217, if the

shear angle t is known,

h-htany (470)

In this h thickness of the pad and 7=the angle figured from

Equation 469.

If the angle f is not too large (say below 20 degrees), for

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practical purposes, the tangent may be taken equal to the angle.

Using Equations 469 and 470 the deflection 8 then becomes

Usually in practice rubber springs are made initially oblique

384

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

as indicated by the full lines of Fig. 219, the position of the rub-

ber after final deflection being indicated by the dashed lines. By

forming the pads in this manner, it is possible to introduce ad-

ditional compression stresses during deflection. These stresses

Fig. 219Simple rubber spring

with initially oblique pads.

With this design, lateral com-

pression is produced under load

are beneficial from the standpoint of the adhesion of the bond

between the rubber and the steel. If the final deflection leaves

the rubber approximately flat so that c/h is not large, as is usually

the case, and if S/h is not too great, it may be shown that Equa-

tion 471 can be used with enough accuracy for practical purposes2.

CYLINDRICAL SHEAR SPRING

Constant HeightThis type of shear spring consists essen-

tially of a circular pad bonded to a steel ring on the outside and

to a shaft or ring on the inside as indicated in Fig. 220a. A load

P is applied along the axis as shown. The shear stress t at any

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radius r will be

If y is the deflection at the same radius (Fig. 2206) the slope

dy/dr will be equal to the negative value of the shear angle. The

negative sign is taken since y decreases with increase in r. Since

the shear angle 7 is equal to r/G (approximately) and the deriva-

tive is equal to the tangent of the shear angle, using Equation 472,

'J. F. D. Smith, Journal of Applied Mechanics, December, 1939, Page A-159.

RUBBER SPRINGS 385

-I tan 7=-to(^) (473)

Letting b=P/2arhG, then using the known series expression

for the tangent of an angle,

-dy b fr' 26s 176'

dr r 3r> 15/-6 315r'

Integrating this between r=r( and r=r, the total deflection

8 becomes

. , r ^/l 1\ 6s / 1 1 \

1890

For most practical cases (where b/r<.4) the terms of this

series beyond the first may be neglected without serious error.

This gives for a first approximation the following formula:

Fig. 220Cylindrical rubber spring of constant height

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h subject to shear loading along axis

386

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

. (476)

P , r

Constant StressIf the thickness h of a cylindrical rubber

spring is inversely proportional to the radius r, as indicated in

Fig. 221 the sheaf stress t will be constant and better utilization

Fig. 221Cylindrical rubber

spring with constant shear stress,

load is axial and h is inversely

proportional to r

of the material will be obtained. This follows from the equation

for stress:

2*rh

If r=K/h, by substitution in this formula, P P P

2>r(

2ttKo 2irrf/h9

= Const (477)

In this h = thickness at outer radius r, Fig. 221. Since the stress

t is constant in this case, the shear angle v = t/G will also be con-

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stant. The deflection will be

= (r-r,)tan-

or using Equation 477 for t

-(r-,)tan(--) (478)

For small angles i (say less than 20 degrees) where the

RUBBER SPRINGS

387

tangent may be taken approximately equal to the angle, the de-

flection 8 may be written

, P(r.-r,)

o ;

This equation is sufficiently accurate for most practical uses

(479)

CYLINDRICAL TORSION SPRING

Constant ThicknessIn this case the thickness h of the spring

is taken constant, Fig. 222 while a moment M is assumed to act

about the spring axis as indicated. The shear stress t at radius r

due to the moment M is

(480)

In this case the maximum shear stress will occur when r=r( and

is

2xi\'A

(481)

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Letting d6=relative angular deflection about the spring axis

Fig. 222Cylindrical torsion

spring, constant thickness h

contributed by the shear stress acting on the elemental ring

shown shaded in Fig. 222b, then

dr tan y

(482)

This follows since the tangential deformation of the outer cir-

cumference of the element with respect to the inner is dr tan 7

388 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

where 1 is the shear angle t/G. Dividing this by r yields the ele-

mental angular deflection d(). Since i=t/G, by using Equa-

tion 480,

, dr / M \

de= tan ( )

r \ 2wr'hG /

Putting c equal to M/2whG, this expression becomes

de = ~-(tan ~\dr (483)

Using the known tangent series as before, the angular de-

flection becomes

rr / c 1 c3 2 c* \ ,

By integrating and substituting limits this equation reduces to

9=^l(77-77) + 9(77-77)l^+---J -(484)

In practice it will be found that this series converges rapidly

so that the first term usually will be sufficient. This gives

M/11\

9= ( 1 (485

4*hG \ rr r.' J

Constant StressIf the cylindrical rubber spring is made so

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that the thickness h, Fig. 223 varies inversely as the square of the

radius r, as shown by Equation 480 the shear stress will be con-

stant. Thus, in this case, the depth is taken equal to

h=h~ (486)

where hi=thickness of rubber at the inside radius r=r(, Fig.

223. By substitution in Equation 480 the stress becomes

M Const (487)

Letting y=r/G as before, then the angular deflection due to

RUBBER SPRINGS 389

the elemental ring shown shaded in Fig. 223b will be, as before,

dr tan y

d8= -

or

de= tan ( J

Integrating between r=r( and r=r, the total angular deflection

6 (in radians) becomes

9-[to..Gd!b)H^ (488)

(a) (b)

Fig. 223Cylindrical torsion spring with constant stress

Assuming the tangent of the angle equal to the angle (which is

accurate enough if the deflection is not too large),

Mlog,

(489)

ExampleAssuming a cylindrical rubber spring (60 durom-

eter) of constant depth h loaded as in Fig. 222 under a torque of

10,000 in-lb, with dimensions as follows: r=3 inches, r(=2

inches, h5 inches, from Equation 481 the maximum stress at

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the inner radius, in pounds per square inch, is

390

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

M 10000 , .

rm = = = 80 lb/sq in.

2*rSh 2irX4X5 '^

For 60 durometer rubber, from Fig. 218 the modulus of rigid-

ity is 125 pounds per square inch. Using the first term of the

series of Equation 484 the angular deflection becomes:

10003

4,r(5)(125)

- = .177 radians or 10.2 degrees

If the second term of Equation 484 is used, this result will

change by about 7 per cent.

If the spring were of the constant stress type (Fig. 223) with

hi=5 inches, 7i=2.22 inches from Equation 487 the stress is the

same as that found previously. From Equation 489 assuming

small deflections, the angular deflection at 10,000 inch-pounds

moment is

10000X.405

.258 radians=14.8 degrees

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2tX4X5X125

where log,. (r/f4) log,,. 1.5.405.

The use of Equation 488 would give a result equal to 17.2

degrees or about 16 per cent greater than that found from

Equation 489 .

It should be recognized that as mentioned previously the

equations given here should be considered approximate only

particularly if deflections and stresses are large.

ALLOWABLE STRESSES

There is not a great deal of data in the literature on allow-

able working stress for rubber springs. Hirschfield and PironJ

suggest that the working stresses in rubber shear springs (and

also on rubber to metal bonds) be limited to 25 to 30 pounds

per square inch in shear except in cases which have been

thoroughly tested. They also state that under favorable condi-

tions these bonds may withstand considerably higher unit loads,

values of to 50 to 60 pounds per square inch having been used.

'Tramactiom ASME, Aug., 1937, Page 489.

RUBBER SPRINGS

891

These values agree roughly with those of Keys4 who states that

stresses of 25 to 50 pounds per square inch are used on metal to

rubber bonds. Also it is suggested that the thickness of a shear

sandwich be not greater than one-fourth of the smaller of the

other two dimensions.

Haushalter- reports the results of long-time creep tests on

rubber of about 45 durometer hardness. When tested in the form

of a flat shear spring, Fig. 217, at 50 pounds per square inch shear

the rubber showed a total creep of about .017-inch for 5/16-inch

thickness (corresponding to a shear angle of .055-radian) after

20 days at normal temperature. At 140 degrees Fahr., at the

same shear stress, the creep was .15-inch in 5/16-inch or .48-radian

shear angle in 100 days. Other tests on 1-inch thick rubber sand-

wiches of a different compound (38 durometer) at 40 pounds

per square inch shear stress and at normal temperature showed

.055-inch deflection (or a shear angle of .055-radian) after 500

days. In all cases the creep-time relation was approximately

logarithmic. This work showed that the creep may be greatly

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increased by a rise in temperature and that wide variations may

occur if different compounds are used. The necessity for keep-

ing down working stresses if excessive creep is to be avoided

was clearly brought out by these tests.

Regarding allowable strains on rubber compression springs,

Fig. 214, Hirschfield and Piron1 suggest a maximum compression

equal to 10 to 20 per cent of the free thickness, and an upper

limit of compressive stress equal to 700 pounds per square inch

for conservative design. Haushalter" also suggests that the de-

flection of compression springs be limited to 15 to 20 per cent

to avoid excessive creep. Where fatigue loading is involved (as

in the case of rubber springs for couplings in electric motor ap-

plications where continuous starting and stopping is involved)

probably even lower percentage compressions should be allowed^

In designing rubber sandwiches for use in shear or compres-

sion springs it is usually desirable to keep the maximum thick-

ness below 2 inches and if possible below 1 inch. This is done in

order to provide for better curing during vulcanization. If more

deflection is required, a stack of rubber sandwiches in series

Mechanical Engineering, May, 1937, Page 347.

-Transactions ASME, Feb., 1939, Page 157.

392

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

may be used. In doing this, care must be taken to avoid instabil-

ity or buckling effects. This can happen not only in compression

springs but also in shear springs.

VIBRATION AND SHOCK ISOLATION

The previous discussion has been concerned primarily with

the problem of calculating stresses and deflections of rubber

mountings of various types. However, the designer is also faced

with the necessity for deciding what flexibility, or deflection, is

actually required for a given mounting. In doing this he must be

guided by known principles for vibration and shock isolation.

Some of the more important of these principles particularly as

regards the design of mountings for machinery, and military

equipment will now be briefly considered6. For purposes of dis-

cussion the problem is divided into two parts:

1. Steady-state vibration.

2. Transient oscillation or shock.

The former can be considered as a vibration which lasts continu-

ously, while the latter is considered as a motion which dies

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out after a relatively short time.

Steady-State VibrationThis kind of vibration is encoun-

tered for example in rotating electrical machinery as a conse-

quence of unbalance of the rotating parts. It may also be set up

by magnetic forces due to alternating currents. A further example

is the vibration present in aircraft structures due to engine un-

balance and pulsating explosion forces7. In machinery mount-

ings, the vibration due to unbalanced reciprocating masses is

usually of most importance.

In the design of a resilient mounting for steady-state vibra-

tion, it is necessary to consider the various possible modes of

vibration. However, in many cases the system can be simplified

into a system, known as a single degree-of-freedom system, con-

sisting essentially of a single spring-mounted mass on a vibrat-

ing support, (as shown on Fig. 117 of Chapter XIII). This is the

A more complete discussion of the general vibration problem is given in Mechani-

cal VibrationsJ. P. Den Hartog, McGraw-Hill, Second Edition 1940, and Vibration

Problems in EngineeringS. Timoshenko, Van Nostrand. Second Edition 1937.

* Article by P C. Roche, Mechanical Engineering, August 1943, Page 581 presents

a more comprehensive discussion of rubber mountings for aircraft and military equip-

ment.

RUBBER SPRINGS

393

case for example, in certain instrument mountings in aircraft.

Such a system will have a natural frequency given by"

where 3, -static deflection of the mass under gravity, inches,

/=natural frequency of system in cycles per second. In prac-

tical design the spring constant of the rubber mounting should

usually be chosen such that / will be considerably lower than the

lowest frequency of vibration of the support. For machinery

mountings values of / equal to 1/3 to 1/10 the normal operating

speed in revolutions per second are used in practice".

To determine the reduction in vibration realized by a rubber

mounting, it is assumed that the support (Fig. 117, Chapter XIII)

is subject to a vibration amplitude given by a sin wt where t=

time, w=2wf and f is the frequency of the external vibration in

cycles per second. Neglecting damping the differential equa-

tion for the relative motion y between the mass and the support

may be shown to be9

T^s^-rio'"" . .

"Z. ,/:hky= ma*t*in at (491)

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In this m=mass and fc=spring constant of spring. For a steady-

state vibration the solution to this equation is

where a>2=k/m

The absolute motion x of the spring supported mass will be

y+a sin iat or using Equation 492 for y and taking <,>/<=///n

(490)

(492)

a, sin at

(493)

* "Shear-Stressed Rubber Compounds in Isolating Machinery Vibration"-B. C.

Madden, Transactions AS ME, August 1943, Page 619.

'Den Hartog, loc. cit. Page 41.

394

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Near resonance, where f/f approaches unity, this equation

does not apply since in such cases the effect of damping (which

was neglected in the derivation) is very important. However,

Equation 493 will yield an approximation for frequencies con-

siderably removed from resonance, and in such cases, it may be

seen that the amplitude of motion of the mass has been reduced

by a factor (/V/o2)1 as compared with the amplitude experi-

enced if it were not spring mounted. The accelerations to which

the mass is subjected will also be reduced in the same ratio. Thus

Roche, Mechanical Engineering, Aug. 1943.

Fig. 224Mounting efficiency in tcims of frequency and static deflection

for example, for a vibration frequency, f30 cycles per second,

if the rubber mountings are so chosen that the natural frequency

f is 10 cycles per second, f//n=3 and from Equation 493, the

peak amplitude x of the mass will be a/(321) aa/8. This

means that a reduction in vibration amplitude and acceleration

in the ratio of 8:1 has been obtained with a flexible mounting.

The chart of Fig. 224, based on Equations 490 and 493, and

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plotted by Roche7 may be used to estimate the percentage re-

duction in vibration achieved by the use of rubber mountings

having a given static deflection 8. The ordinates of this diagram

represent the disturbing frequency in cycles per minute, while

the abscissas represent the static deflection of the mounting.

RUBBER SPRINGS

395

Each curve corresponds to a definite amount of reduction in

vibration amplitude, while the shaded area represents a region

of increase in vibration amplitude. Thus, for example, if the

disturbing frequency is, say, 800 cycles per minute and the static

deflection .3-inch under the weight of the mounted apparatus,

a reduction in amplitude of 80 per cent normally would be ex-

pected.

Damping It should be emphasized that Equation 493 and

the chart of Fig. 224 are based on the assumption that damping

may be neglected. For most practical purposes this will prob-

ably yield results sufficiently close to actual conditions. How-

ever, for best accuracy, damping must be taken into account. The

usual method of treating this problem is to assume that the damp-

ing force is equal to a constant c times the velocity. This is

equivalent to adding a term cdy/dt to the left side of Equation

491. The equation can then be solved for steady-state condi-

tions in the usual way6. Actual tests, however, show that the in-

ternal damping constant c is a function of frequency and in many

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cases may be taken approximately as inversely proportional to

the frequency for rubber compounds1. In addition, it has also

been found that the modulus of elasticity of the material and

hence the spring constant k as used in Equation 491 may in some

cases vary with amplitude. This results, for some rubber

compounds, in a considerable deviation between calculated and

theoretical resonance curves based on constant values of c and k.

In other cases, however, close agreement between theoretical

curves, based on constant c and k values, and test curves have

been obtained for a limited range of frequencies8.

In some practical applications an alternating load P=Pn sin

oit acts on a spring-mounted mass, the support or foundation be-

ing rigid in contrast to the previous case considered where the

support was assumed to vibrate. An example of such an applica-

tion is an electric motor mounted on rubber bushings, the force

due to unbalance being the alternating load in question. In this

case a similar analysis shows that if damping is neglected the load

transmitted to the foundation is given by

"Discussion by H. O. Fuchs, Transactions ASME, August 1943, Page 623; paper

on "Rubber in Vibration" by S. D. Gehman, Journal Applied Physics, June 1942, Page

402; and "Some Dynamical Properties of Rubber" by C. O. Harris, Journal Applied

Mechanics, 1942, Page A-132 give additional data.

396

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

P,=

P.

(494)

This equation shows that the reduction in vibration for the no-

damping case is given by the same expression (/V/nl)1 as that

obtained for the case of a vibrating support in Equation 493. If

a damping force proportional to velocity is assumed, an analysis

by Den Hartog11 shows that the ratio of the force Px (transmitted

to the foundation) to impressed force P is given by

In this formula, c=damptng factor, cc=2Vnfc defined as

the "critical damping". In some cases values of c/cc around .02

to .08 have been observed but this may vary considerably for dif-

ferent types of mountings8. A curve showing the effect of damp-

ing on the transmissibility (i.e., ratio P,/P) is given in Fig. 2257.

The full curve represents effect with no damping present,

while the dashed curve is calculated on the assumption of a con-

stant damping ratio c/cc. This curve also indicates that, for con-

stant c/cc, damping increases the transmissibility above f/fn=

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1.41 and decreases it below this value. Because of variation in c

this statement does not hold true in all cases particularly where

a wide range in frequency is involved12. Thus for an effective

mounting the spring flexibility should be chosen so as to obtain

a ratio /// considerably above 1.4. If the mounting is made too

flexible, however, the structure may not function satisfactorily.

Hence, a compromise must usually be reached. Values of ratios

/// equal to 1.6 and higher have been used in tank and aircraft

design7. It should also be noted that a structure such as an air-

plane may have several different frequencies of vibration (due to

harmonics in the engine torque, for example) while these may

vary over a considerable range at various speeds. Consideration

f Mechanical Vibrations, loc. cit.. Page 87.

u Sec discussion i>y':Fuchs, Footnote 10.

(495)

RUBBER SPRINGS

397

of these various frequencies is necessary if resonance and ex-

cessive vibration are to be avoided.

Shock IsolationThis problem is particularly important

in the design of flexible mountings for protecting equipment in

naval vessels or tanks from the sudden motions resulting from

firing of guns, dropping of depth charges, or enemy action.

Thus, for example an instrument in a ship may be flexibly

mounted so as to function in spite of the transient motions caused

//

V1

V|

|/

//

III

1 CUIrt

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//

'INDlCA

TO V

"\

OK \

ftllT

fi

IWK1

DAMPING

AHIMIU

MS

vs

J, 1

l\

\N

1.0

VT

SO 1.0 J.50 3.0 3.

so

ADO OF DISTURIING FHOUiNCT TO NAIUKAl FMOUENCT (F:h>)

Roche, Mechanical Engineering, Aug. 1943.

Fig. 225Effect of damping on transmissibility at various ratios f/fn

between disturbing frequency and natural frequency

by a shell impact close by. In general the impacts or explosions

result in low frequency oscillations combined with high fre-

quency oscillations of much lower amplitudes, the frequencies

involved being determined by the structural characteristics of

the ship or tank. The high frequency motions may result in

very high accelerations in equipment rigidly attached to the

structure. By the use of flexible mountings the damaging effect

of these high frequencies can be entirely eliminated. However,

it is necessary to consider also the low frequency large ampli-

tudes and to design the mountings so that the motion across the

mountings will not build up during the rime of the transient to

398

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

a point where the allowable motion across the mounting is ex-

ceeded. This means that each case must be considered with

respect to the type of motion that is expected and the design

carried out accordingly.

Where resonance is possible, for instance at low speeds, two

methods of attack may be employed. The first is to introduce

damping by friction or other means, while the second is to use a

mounting with a curved load-deflection characteristic so that the

mounting becomes stiffer with increased deflection. Such mount-

ings with snubbing action can be obtained by using stops or other

methods.

This means that, if the oscillations occur at a given fre-

quency which is in resonance with the natural frequency for

low amplitudes, the amplitude will tend to build up. As it builds

up, however, because of the curved load-deflection characteristic,

the effective stiffness also increases and with it the natural fre-

quency. This will tend to throw the system out of resonance and

result in snubbing action. The mounting must, of course, be de-

load.

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signed so as to obtain the required characteristics at the given

In designing flexible mountings for a given machine it is de-

sirable, in general, to locate them in one plane coinciding with

the center of gravity. In this manner the tendency of different

modes of vibration to become coupled is reduced while at the

same time, greater stability is obtained.

After the required flexibility has been determined for a given

system, the rubber mountings may be designed by using the

equations given. The size of the mounting must be so chosen

that excessive stresses in the rubber are avoided under the anti-

cipated maximum amplitude of motion, while at the same time,

the required flexibility is maintained.

CHAPTER XXII

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY OF VARIOUS SPRINGS

Although a great many factors must be taken into account

in the choice of spring type for a given application, to the prac-

tical spring designer the amount of energy which can be stored

in a given spring is usually of primary importance. This is true

since in most cases, load and deflection are given, which means

that the spring must store a given amount of energy. This is the

case, for example, in the design of landing gear springs for air-

plane application, where the springs must be able to absorb the

kinetic energy of the mass of the plane falling through a certain

height. The purpose of the present chapter is to compare vari-

ous types of springs, such as helical, leaf, cantilever, etc., from the

standpoint of energy-storage capacity per unit volume of mate-

rial, assuming a given maximum stress. This will give the de-

signer an idea of the minimum volume of space needed for a given

application. (The actual volume may be much greater depend-

ing on the spring compactness). It may be noted that this ap-

proach to the problem is somewhat different from that of Chapter

X, where a single type of spring (i.e., the helical) was discussed

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from the standpoint of total space occupied.

SIMPLE TENSION-BAR SPRINGS

This case may be considered as an ideal spring, consisting

simply of a straight bar of uniform section subject to an axial

load P at its end1. Since the bar is loaded axially, the stress dis-

tribution across the section is uniform and for this reason this

case represents the optimum condition from the viewpoint of

maximum energy storage per unit volume of material. If I is

the length and A the cross-section area, the stress a will be P/A.

The unit elongation will be a/E, where E is the modulus of elas-

ticity of the material, and the total elongation 8 will be al/E.

The energy stored will be equal to the area under the load-deflec-

1 This will be called a "tension-bar" spring to distinguish it from the helical ten-

sion spring which is also known as a tension spring.

399

400

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

tion curve. Hence, the energy 17=%P8. This condition gives:

17=

2E 2E

In this V=Al=total volume of material.

Static LoadsFor static loads, the tension yield point <rv

will be considered the limiting stress. The criterion of energy

storage for static loads will therefore be the value of U when

a-- a. This value is

Fatigue LoadsOn the other hand, if the spring is subject

to fatigue or repeated loading, the stress, at the endurance limit

should be used in determining energy-storage capacity. Because

of stress concentration which is usually present near the ends of

the spring where it is clamped, it is alsq necessary to introduce

a fatigue strength reduction factor2. If this fatigue factor is Kt,

a similar analysis shows that for variable loads the energy stored

at the endurance limit will be

u."5e%> (497)

This equation shows that because of the presence of stress con-

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centration, the energy storage capacity for repeated loading will

be considerably below the ideal value (which would exist if no

stress concentration were present).

CANTILEVER SPRINGS

Rectangular Profile This spring consists essential-

ly of a simple cantilever of rectangular profile and constant thick-

ness (Fig. 147, Chapter XVI). For small deflections, the deflec-

tion from beam theory is, using the notation of Chapter XVI,

=W;(498)

The nominal stress is given by the following equation:

2 The applications of such factors have been discussed in Chapter VI.

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY

401

6Pi obh>

~l*rmP- 5 (499)

Using Equation 498, the energy stored may be expressed as

1 2PVJ

u-irPs--m (500)

Using Equation 499 in this, and taking the volume V of the ma-

terial equal to V=bhl, the energy U becomes

r5V

U= IBE(501)

Static LoadsFor static loads, the maximum energy stored

when the stress is just equal to the yield stress o- will be, from

Equation 501,

"-w (502)

Comparing this with Equation 496, it is seen that this value

is only 1/9 the value of energy which may be stored in the ideal

(tension-bar) spring of the same volume at the yield point. How-

ever, it should be noted that, when the extreme fiber is stressed

to the yield point, the cantilever spring will still have a consider-

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able margin before general yielding over the cross section occurs.

This will increase the stored energy by a factor of about two to

one as shown later. Since the tension-bar spring does not have

this margin, the ratio of 1/9 mentioned previously is pessimistic

as far as the energy storage capacity of the simple cantilever

spring is concerned. For this reason, probably a better basis of

comparison for static loads is the energy stored at a load produc-

ing complete yielding over the section at the built-in end of the

cantilever. The analysis may be made as follows:

It is assumed that a rectangular distribution of stress exists

over the cross section for complete yielding. This means that,

on the tension side, the stress is a constant tension equal to the

yield stress o-, while on the compression side, the stress3 is equal

tc it. For a rectangular section, the external bending moment

a Actually, for most spring steels the stress will tend to rise after the yield point

is reached (stress-strain diagram of Fig. 61). However, the assumption of a constant

stress is satisfactory for the present purpose.

402

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

will be expressed by the following relation:

(503)

This corresponds to a value of load 50 per cent above the value

by Equation 499 which is based on a linear stress distribution

over the cross section. The load-deflection curve up to this load

will not be exactly linear because of yielding effects. However,

on unloading, the curve will be approximately linear and for

further load applications in one direction, the energy stored will

correspond to that figured from Equation 500, using the higher

value of P. Hence, it seems reasonable to use the latter equation,

which is based on a linear condition, as a basis for comparison.

Thus using a load P as calculated from Equation 503 and substi-

tuting in Equation 500 the expression for energy stored becomes

This is one-fourth the value for the ideal case. (Equation 496).

Fatigue LoadsWhere the load is variable, the stress given

by Equation 499 must be multiplied by a fatigue strength reduc-

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tion factor K; to take into account the stress concentration at the

built-in end of the cantilever. The stored energy at the endurance

limit ac will then be

If the same fatigue-strength reduction is assumed for the

cantilever spring as for that in a simple tension-bar spring, the

energy-storage capacity in the former for fatigue conditions will

be only 1/9 that of the latter1. The reason for "this may be found

in the fact that in a cantilever spring of rectangular profile only

a very small portion of the total volume of material (i.e., that

near the fixed end) is subject to anything approaching the maxi-

mum stress. Nevertheless, in spite of its relative inefficiency in

this respect, the cantilever spring still finds a field of use particu-

larly in cases where the spring must function as a guide in addi-

, Actually the fatigue-strength reduction factor may be considerably less in the

cantilever spring, the actual value depending on the design.

(504)

U.-

(505)

18Kf'E

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY

403

tion to its energy-absorption function.

Triangular Profile and Leaf SpringThe efficiency of utiliz-

ation of the material in a cantilever spring may be increased by

making the profile of triangular or trapezoidal form so that the

nominal stress along the length of the spring will be approximate-

ly constant. This is the condition in the usual type of leaf spring

also. For a spring of triangular profile, the deflection at the end

due to a load P is, using the notation of Chapter XVI,

6Pl3

sEb;hT (506)

The maximum stress is the same as that given by Equation 499.

Using Equation 506, the stored energy may be expressed as

1 3P"-P

U Pi (507)

2 Eboh'

Using Equation 506 in Equation 507 and taking the volume V==

Vzhohl, the energy becomes

u-He (508)

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Static LoadsFor static loads, the energy stored when the

stress just reaches the yield point a is

(509)

This value of stored energy is about one-third that for the

ideal spring at the yield point, Equation 496. For complete yield-

ing over the section of the spring, the load will be about 50 per

cent above the value given by Equation 509 and for this condi-

tion (as for the cantilever spring of rectangular profile) the

energy-storage capacity may be assumed to increase roughly

in the ratio (1.5)' to 1. This gives

U> (510)

This value of energy-storage capacity is about 25 per cent below

that obtainable for the ideal case.

Fatigue LoadsFor fatigue loading the energy stored in the

404 MECHANICAL SPRINGS

cantilever spring of triangular profile is

a.'V

In this, Kf is the fatigue strength reduction factor at the clamped

end. Assuming equal values of Kf, this value is approximately 1/3

that obtainable in the ideal case.

HELICAL TORSION SPRINGS

Rectangular WireAssuming a helical torsion spring of rec-

tangular wire, subject to a constant moment M (Fig. 178), the

bending stress is, from Equation 357,

6M

bh2

or, solving for M,

(w>

where K, (Fig. 180) depends on the spring index to take into

account the stress increase due to curvature of the bar. From

Equation 358 the angular deflection of the end of the spring is

24irMm

*=n^-rad,ans

The energy U stored in this case will be half the product of

comes

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the moment and the angle. Using this equation the energy be-

1 l2*M2rn

2 * Ebh?

Using the value of M given by Equation 512 in this and tak-

ing the volume of material equal to 2wrnbh,

u= bek7 (513)

Static LoadsFor static loads, the curvature correction

factor K2 may be considered as a stress-concentration factor and

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY

405

hence may be neglected. The energy stored at the yield point ay

will then be

This is the same as Equation 509 for a cantilever spring of

triangular profile. For complete yielding, conditions will be the

same as for a triangular cantilever spring; hence Equation 510

may also be used for this case.

Fatigue LoadsFor variable loading the energy stored will

be

U" SEK, (515)

Usually, because of clamping at the ends in a torsion spring,

there will be a stress concentration effect which may be repre-

sented by a fatigue strength reduction factor Kf. If this factor

is higher than the curvature factor K2, Fig. 180, the former should

be used in Equation 515 instead of the latter.

Circular WireFor a torsion spring of circular wire the

stress (given by Equation 364) is

32M

u = Ar

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irtP

where K, is the curvature correction factor.

From this

"=32*7 (516)

The angular deflection in radians is, from Equation 366,

128Afrn

*~ Ed,

The energy stored is (as before)

tt 1 64M2rn

Um --M*=--- (517)

Taking the volume V=ir-rnd2/2 and using Equation 516

in equation 517, the stored energy becomes

406

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

<72V

u-1kJe- (518)

Static LoadsFor a static load, the energy stored when the

stress reaches the yield point <tv is, neglecting the curvature factor

Kt as before,

This appears to be about ,k the energy stored in the ideal

(tension-bar) spring at the yield point. However, an increase

in moment approximately in the ratio of 1:1.7 is necessary to

cause complete yielding over the cross section for a round-wire

torsion spring. This may be shown as before by assuming yield-

ing at constant stress and integrating over the circular cross

section. This would correspond to an increase in energy to about

2.89 times that given in Equation 519. Thus, for complete

yielding,

u-im (520)

This value is about 28 per cent below that corresponding to the

ideal spring.

Variable LoadsFor variable loads, the energy stored will

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be, using ae in Equation 518,

u-~i0E (521)

If the fatigue strength reduction factor K1 at the clamped end is

higher than Ku the former should be used in this expression.

Assuming the same value of Kf for both cases. Equation 521 thus

indicates that for variable loading the round-wire torsion spring

is about V4 as efficient as the ideal (tension-bar) spring.

SPIRAL SPRINGS

A spiral spring of flat strip or rectangular bar material with

a large number of turns will have the same energy-storage ca-

pacity per unit volume of material as the torsion spring of rec-

tangular wire, provided that the ends are clamped and that there

ENERGY-STOHAGE CAPACITY 407

is sufficient space between the turns so that they do not come

in contact (see Chapter XVIII). In such a case as shown pre-

viously the moment is approximately constant along the length of

the spring, as it is in the case of a helical torsion spring under

a constant moment. For fatigue loading, however, the stress con-

centration factors may be different, depending on the method

of fastening or clamping the ends.

ROUND BAR UNDER TORSION

For a straight round bar subject to a torsion moment Mt

about its axis, the torsion stress t is given by Equation 4, taking

Pr=Mt

16M,

T=

TCP

solving for Mt,

TCP

M, = r (522)

The angular deflection <f>, in radians, of a round bar of length

I under a torque Mt is

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32MJ

<t>=

Td'G

where G is the torsional modulus of elasticity.

The energy stored will be one-half the product of the moment

and the angle in radians. Hence

1 16M.H

Substituting in this the value of Mt given by Equation 522

and taking the volume of material V=wd-l/4,

t'V

Static LoadsFor static loads, when the shear stress t just

reaches the yield point in torsion t, the energy stored becomes

408

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

4G

(524)

The torsional modulus is

G=

2(1+m)

where /i =Poisson's ratio". For most materials may be taken as

about .3. This gives G=E/2.6. Also from the shear-energy

theory (Chapter II) the shearing yield point t may be taken as

1/V3 times the tension yield point >. Thus

Using these values in Equation 524, for static loading the energy

stored when the stress just reaches the yield point is

This is considerably more than that stored in either the round

or the rectangular-wire helical torsion springs (Equations 514 and

519). However, it should be noted that these latter springs have

a considerable margin between the load at which yielding starts

and that for complete yielding over the section. This margin

is not as great in the case of the torsionally loaded round-bar

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spring (since a greater part of the section is stressed to values

near the maximum) and hence for static loading comparison on

the basis of Equations 519 and 526 is probably too favorable for

the round bar in torsion. A fairer comparison may be made by

assuming complete yielding over the section as follows:

For a rectangular distribution of stress over the cross sec-

tion of the round bar (as would occur after complete yielding

at constant stress t has taken place), the moment Mt is given by

Comparing this with Equation 522 this means that, for com-

plete yielding, the moment is equal to 4/3 times the value when

(525)

V3

"**-t(-it-)

(527)

6 Timoshenko, Strength of Materials, Part I, Page 57, Second Edition.

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY 409

the stress in the outer fiber just reaches the yield point in torsion.

Assuming a linear moment-angle curve (which will be realized

approximately after the first load application) the energy stored

may be taken proportional to the square of the moment. Thus,

the value given by Equation 526 will be increased in the ratio

(4/3)2. This gives

u-TiE (528)

This value is only about 23 per cent lower than the stored

energy in the ideal case and shows that the helical compression

or tension spring of large index (which approximates a condi-

tion of pure torsion) is relatively efficient as far as energy storage

per unit volume of material is concerned.

Fatigue LoadingFor a straight bar in torsion uncjer fatigue

or repeated loading, Equation 522 may be used. However, in

practice there will usually be some stress concentration (at

clamped ends, for instance), and hence the value of Mf given by

this equation must be divided by a fatigue strength reduction

factor K; to take this into account. Taking tc as the endurance

limit in torsion, from Equation 523 the energy stored thus be-

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comes

"-w (529)

Again it may be assumed roughly that the endurance limit"

in torsion t* is equal to that in tension ae divided by V3. Using

Equation 529 and taking G=E/2.6 as before, the following ex-

pression is obtained:

U"^K? (530)

Thus, for variable loading, and assuming equal fatigue-strength

reduction factors, the energy-storage capacity of a straight bar

in torsion would be somewhat less than half thai of a simple ten-

sion-bar spring. However, as previously indicated this compari-

son may be invalidated by differences in the actual fatigue

factors which depend both on design and material.

This is based on the shear-energy theory.

410

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

HELICAL COMPRESSION OR TENSION SPRINGS

The deflection of a helical spring, axially loaded (from

Equation 7) is

64PHn

Gd,

Using this, the energy stored becomes

"-i"-^ <->

Static LoadsFor static loads, the stress is calculated from

Equation 89

16Pr

or

P. "d3"

16rK.

In this case, Ks is the shear stress multiplication factor, Fig. 63.

Substituting this in Equation 531, taking the volume of ma-

terial in the spring as V'=ir2d2rn/2, and the stress equal to the

yield point in shear t, this gives

This is the same as the factor for a straight bar in torsion,

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with the exception of the factor K0. Again taking t, equal to the

tension yield point divided by \/3 and taking E=G/2.6 this

equation becomes

[/.= ""'V (533)

4.62K.'E

To get the energy storage for complete yielding over the sec-

tion, this value must be multiplied by (4/3)' as in the case of a

straight bar under torsion'. This gives

j Chapters V and VI give a more complete discussion of helical springs under static

and variable loading.

ENERGY-STORAGE CAPACITY

411

t/.=

(534)

2.6 K.'E

Fatigue LoadsFor fatigue or repeated loading, for a rough

comparison the same method may be applied except that instead

of using the factor K, a factor K (Fig. 30, Chapter II) which

takes into account both effects due to curvature and to direct

shear should be used7. This gives (from Equation 533), taking

the endurance limit av instead of ay

From Equations 533 and 535 it is seen that the larger the

spring index, the larger the energy storage per unit volume of

material, since K, and K decrease with increase in the index.

However, if the comparison is made on the basis of total volume

of space occupied, it will be found that the use of moderate index

springs will give the maximum efficiency (Chapter X).

On the basis of the equations for spring capacity as previous-

ly derived, the figures listed in Table XXXV have been com-

puted. These represent energy-storage capacity as fractions of

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that of an ideal (simple tension-bar) spring. Thus for static

loading, in terms of the energy storage when first yielding occurs

the simple cantilever spring will absorb an amount of energy

equal to .11 times that of the ideal spring. If comparison is made

on the basis of energy storage at first yielding, it appears that

the simple tension-bar spring is far more efficient than other

types. On the other hand, if comparison is made on the more

logical basis of energy storage for complete yielding over the

section, it appears that the ideal spring is not a great deal more

efficient than other types. Thus, for example on this basis (from

the second row of the table), the triangular cantilever spring,

the torsion spring of rectangular section, and the round bar in

torsion all have about 75 per cent of the capacity of the ideal

spring assuming static loading. For a helical spring of index 5,

K, = l.l and from the last column of Table XXXV, the energy-

(535)

4.62K2

COMPARATIVE STORACE CAPACITIES

412

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

storage capacity per unit of volume on this basis will be

.77/ (1.1)2=.64 times that of the ideal spring. However, when

comparison is made on the basis of energy-storage capacity for

variable loading, if the same fatigue strength reduction factors

are assumed, the ideal spring is far more efficient than the other

types. However, in practice these fatigue factors may vary con-

Table XXXV

Comparison of Energy-Storage Capacity for Different Types of Springs

(Expressed in (ructions of that in the ideal case of a simple tension-bar spring*)

Torsion

Spring

Trian- (Rec- Helical

Simple Simple gular tangu- Torsion Straight Compres-

Ten- Canti- Canti- lar bar) Spring Round sion or

lion-Bar lever lever Spiral (Round Bar in Tension

Spring Spring Spring Spring Bar) Torsion Spring

Energy stored at first

yieldingstatic loads 1 .11 .33 .33 .25 .43 .43/K,2

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Energy stored at com-

plete yielding static

loads 1 .25 .75 .75 .72 .77 .77/K,"

Energy stored at endur-

ance limit variable

loadsf 1/K,' .11/K,' .33/K,1 33/K,' .25/K,' .43/K,' .43/1?

Energy stored at first or complete yielding (static loads) for ideal case a 2V/2E-

Energy stored at endurance limit (variable loads) for ideal case ce* V/2JS.

t Values of fatigue strength reduction factors Kf in this row will vary among the

different types of springs. Endurance limit in torsion taken as ffe/ y 3.

siderably and for this reason the figures given should be consid-

ered only as a rough indication of the capacities of the various

types.

It should be emphasized that in the choice of spring type by

the designer a great many factors are involved besides energy

storage per unit volume. Thus ability to fit into a machine or

mechanism is often of paramount importance. However, the

comparison of spring types as given in Table XXXV may be help-

ful in enabling the designer to form some judgement as to the

best type of spring for use under given conditions.

CHAPTER XXIII

SPRING MATERIALS

The present chapter will be concerned primarily with a dis-

cussion of the more important spring materials, their properties,

composition and uses. Particular reference will be made to

possible substitutions which may be required as a consequence

of wartime restrictions. The emphasis will, however, be placed

on the properties of the material itself rather than on those of

the complete spring1.

In the choice of spring materials, it should be borne in mind

that, in view of present restrictions, wherever possible plain

carbon steels (such as music wire, oil-tempered wire, hot-rolled

high-carbon steels) should be used instead of alloy steels,

stainless steel, and nonferrous materials, all of which utilize

severely restricted materials. In many practical applications

such alternatives may be used without loss of essential properties.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS

A summary of the more important properties of the different

spring materials is given in Tables XXXVI, XXXVII and

XXXVIII. Table XXXVI gives a tabulation of the composition

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of various spring steels according to specifications of the Ameri-

can Society for Testing Materials. Tables XXXVII and XXXVIII

give typical values of physical properties, including ultimate

strength, elastic limit in tension, modulus of rigidity, modulus of

elasticity, and elongation for ferrous and nonferrous spring ma-

terials2. It should be emphasized that in individual cases, spring

properties may deviate somewhat from the values shown.

Endurance limitsA summary of available data on endur-

ance limits of spring materials as found in the literature is given

in Tables XXXIX and XL, the former applying to torsion and

1 Static and endurance properties of helical springs were discussed in Chapter IV.

'Article by C. T. Eakin, Iron Age, August 16, 1934, Page 18, "Mechanical

Springs", published by Wallace Barnes Co., 1944, and "Manual on Design and Ap-

plication of Helical and Spiral Springs for Ordnance", published by SA.E. War En-

gineering Board, 1943, give additional data on spring materials.

413

414

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

the latter to bending. Pertinent information, including kind of

material, heat treatment, surface condition (i.e., whether ground

and polished, or untouched), ultimate and yield strengths in ten-

sion, modulus of rupture and yield strength in torsion, and litera-

ture reference are given, together with the limiting endurance

range values. Thus an endurance range from 0-110,000 pounds

Table XXXVI

Composition of Various Spring Materials

(ASTM Standard Specifications)

ASTM

Material

Music wire

Oil-tempered

over A

(camp. A

wire

dia.

Oil-tempered wire

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under A dia.

(comp. B). . . .

Hard-drawn spring

Hot-wound carbon

steel he 1 i c a 1

springs"

Chrome -vanadium

valve spring wiref

Speci-

Man-

Phos-

Sul-

fication

Carbon

ganese phorus

phur

Silicon

(max.

(max.

(%)

(%)

%>

%)

(%)

A228-41

.70 to

.20 to

.03

.03

.12 to

.60

.30

A229-41

.55 to

.80 to

.045

.050

.10 to

.75

1.20

.30

A229-41

.55 to

.60 to

.045

.050

.10 to

.75

.90

SPRING MATERIALS

415

the basis of these data, the endurance diagram of Fig. 226 has

been drawn up. This represents what may be expected for good

quality leaf or flat-spring material in thicknesses around V* to Vi-

inch. Again, it may be seen that for ground and polished speci-

mens considerably higher endurance limits may be expected

than for the others. Higher values may also be expected for high-

quality, thin-strip materials.

It should be noted that because of stress concentration effects

due to holes, notches, clamped edges, etc., the actual endurance

limits obtained in leaf or flat springs in general are considerably

lower'1 than those shown in Fig. 226. This is shown by the tests

on actual elliptic leaf springs reported by Batson and Bradley

and summarized in Table XLII. For these tests, as shown on this

Table, the limiting range of stress in the master leaf of the spring

was only about 30,000 to 40,000 pounds per square inch. For

Table XXXVII

Tensile Properties of Typical Spring Steels

Ultimate

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Elastic

Modulus

Elongation

Modulus

tensile

limit in

of

of

Material

strength

tension

elasticity

2 inches

Rigidity"

Hard-drawn spring

(Ib./sq. in.)

(Ib./sq. in.)

(lb./sq. in.)

<%)

(Ib./sq. in.)

wire

160.000 to

60%

30 x 10"

11.4 x 10"

Oil-tempered spring

310,000t

of T.S.t

wire

170 000 to

310,000t

70 to 853

of T.S.

30 x 10"

11.4 x 10"

Music wire

255,000 to

440,000t

60 to 75r;

of T.S.

30 x 10"

11.5x10"

Annealed, high-

carbon wire

250,000 to

200.000 to

416

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

no doubt due to stress concentration effects present in the actual

spring. Thus as discussed in Chapter XVI a small hole in a flat

strip may reduce the endurance range about 50 per cent.

DESCRIPTION OF SPRING WIRES AND MATERIALS

In the following, the properties and uses of the more im-

portant kinds of spring wire and spring materials will be briefly

discussed, with particular reference to the data given in Tables

XXXVI, XXXVII, and XXXVIII. Pertinent data of importance in

160000, , 1 1 1

u 1200001 1 1 1 1

Fig. 226Approximate endurance diagrams for good

quality leaf and plate spring materials

connection with the application and use of the various materials

will be briefly summarized.

Music wireA high-quality carbon steel, this wire is widely

used for small-sized helical springs, particularly those subject to

severe stress conditions. The high strength of the material is

obtained by using a steel of about .70 to 1.00 per cent carbon,

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patenting and cold drawing to size. The composition as specified

SPRING MATERIALS

417

by ASTM A228-41 is given in Table XXXVI and typical physical

properties in Table XXXVII. This specification also calls for

minimum and maximum tensile strength values as shown by

the upper and lower curves of Fig. 227. As will be seen from these

Table XXXVIII

Typical Physical Properties of Stainless Steel and Non-Ferrous Metals

(as used in Springs)

Elonga- Endur-

Ultimnte Elastic Modulus tion ance Modulus

tensile limit in of in 2 limit of

strength tension elasticity inches in hending rigidity

Kind of Materia. <P-> <* <*> ^ lT

Stain.ess stec, (18-8) 160.000 to TO.000.0 26 ^ 10.

Kw^t1re(afe,dn)^temPer 160.000to 110.000 to 26x 10" 3-8 50.000 9.5x10"

neat-treateu> 200,000 140,000

ZteaktCrreSed)g ""V"' 180,000 to 130,000 to 30 x 10" 5-10 11 ' >'

heat-treatea; ... 230,000 170,000 6to

1600000o,o lOO^OOto 6to

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Spring brass $.000, 80.000 to IS, 10" 5 -O^,.

f Depending on size. Depending on heat treatment.

curves the tensile strength of music wire may vary from 255,000

pounds per square inch for the larger wire sizes to 440,000 pounds

per square inch for the smaller. The carbon content of this ma-

terial usually will vary with the wire size, the smaller sizes hav-

ing the lower amounts. Some specifications call for a limited

range within .1 per cent in carbon content for a given wire size.

Usually music wire is not used for springs larger than about %-

inch wire diameter, but it can be supplied in larger sizes on

special order.

In forming helical springs of music wire, the winding is done

cold over a mandrel. After winding, it is advisable to give the

springs a low-temperature heat treatment to relieve coiling

stresses. This bluing treatment may call for heating the springs

to a temperature of around 500 degrees Fahr. for one hour for

the larger sizes and for 15 to 30 minutes for the smaller sizes.

Formerly music wire was made largely from Swedish steels

because of their uniformity and high quality. At present, Ameri-

6c

Il I

VI

11

In

0" .

da

: 23

II

.07

0- .

del

II

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MECHANICAL SPRINGS

>- gg

O o

3 *-

S3

II

111

: U Eg

Sin SH

3;.

.2 -J

II

Jll

r-'r

ce ,e

. g_

SS

3 ft

SPRING MATERIALS

419

can steels are being used to make this material with satisfactory

results in most cases.

Music wire may also be obtained with cadmium-plated sur-

faces for applications where corrosion is a factor (in the applica-

tion of the coating, care must be taken to guard against hydrogen

embrittlement). For such applications, cadmium-plated springs

may offer a satisfactory substitute for 18-8 stainless steel wire.

Oil-tempered spring wireThis is a good-quality, high-

carbon steel wire, made by the open hearth or electric furnace

440000/

01 02 03 04 OS 06 07 08 09 10 II J2 .13 J4 15 16

WIRE DIAMETER, INOCS

Fig. 227Maximum and minimum tensile strength character-

istics of music wire for various sizes, from ASTM A228-41

process, which is used for cold-wound springs. ASTM A229-41

calls for the compositions listed in Table XXXVI, Composition A

being preferred for sizes over 7/32-inch.

In manufacturing, the wire is cold drawn to size and then

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heat treated. Upper and lower limits for tensile ultimate

strengths for oil-tempered wire as given by the foregoing speci-

fications are plotted against wire size in Fig. 228. Further limita-

tions on the tensile strength call for a variation in tensile strength

of not more than 30,000 pounds per square inch in a single lot in

sizes below .120-inch, and not more than 25,000 pounds per

square inch in sizes above .120-inch. It will be noted that the

tensile strengths of this wire are somewhat below the values for

r>

a:

i/1

>-

F>

"8

Table XL

Endurance Limits and Physical Properties of Spring Materials in Bending

(Round Specimens)

Endurance

Limit in

Reve nasi

Bending

lb. sq. In.

Investi-

gator

HankitLs1

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Hankins0

Shelton, Swanger"

Weibel-

Johnson4

Elongation

Par Cent

0 000

* 200

* 0600

+ 02600

* 2">00~)

-2000

0 000

0 200

* 8000

2000

=2800

0"

0*

40.5,

2.-}

2.-J

408

0|

Yield

Point

(Tension)

lb./on. In.

06200

42800

020

020

0000

0200

2200

42400

UK.

Strength

1 Tension)

lb.,sq. in.

0000

0702

220

2200

200000

2000

2002

0000

SPRING MATERIALS

421

corresponding sizes of music wire, Fig. 227. Other physical

properties are listed in Table XXXVII.

As in the case of music wire, springs made from oil-tempered

wire are usually wound cold and then given a thermal treatment

to relieve coiling stresses. This may be done by heating at 500-

535 degrees Fahr. for %-hour.

Hard-drawn spring wireOf lower quality than music or

oil-tempered wire, this material is utilized in cases where the

stresses are low or where a high degree of uniformity is not es-

sential. The chemical composition as specified by ASTM A227-

g 320000

#300000

IS 20 25

WIRE CHAKCTER, [NOES

Fig. 228Maximum and minimum values of ultimate tensile strength

for hard-drawn and oil-tempered wire, ASTM A221-41 and 229-41

41 is given in Table XXXVI. This specification further requires

that the carbon in any one lot of material shall not vary by more

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than .20 per cent and the manganese by not more than .30 per

cent. Usually the higher carbon contents are used for the larger

wire sizes to obtain higher values of tensile strength in these

sizes.

Minimum and maximum values of ultimate tensile strengths

for hard-drawn wire as given in ASTM A227-41 are shown by

the dashed lines of Fig. 228 as a function of wire diameter. A

further requirement of this specification is that the ultimate

strength in a single lot shall not vary more than 40,000 pounds

per square inch for sizes below .072-inch, nor by more than 30,-

000 pounds per square inch for sizes above .072-inch. Winding is

done cold followed by a thermal treatment.

422

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Annealed high-carbon wireWith high ductility in the an-

nealed state, this material is utilized in cases where severe form-

ing operations are necessary in the manufacture of the spring

such as, for example, in torsion springs with certain shapes of end

Table XLI

Endurance Ranges and Physical Properties of Leaf and

Flat Spring Materials in Bending

bid. Lis*

TNcknta

of

*>

III

Condition

Surtae

CtSti)

./*, In.

ML

Rant* at

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5Shai*

fc./a*.1n.

.6% Commercial

Carbon Spring

Steel

Hardened and

A. Heed.

350-370

0 to

itatson and

Tempered

42000

Bradley

. o% Commercial

Carbon Spring

Steel

Hardened and

.062 inch

machined

from surface

after hen I

treatment

350-370

0 to

128000

a*

Silico-

o.y. 900-c

T. 540C

As Heed.

390-400

0 to

63000

Manganeac

Steel

Silico-

O.Q. 9000C

T. 540*C

.062 inch

machined

from surface

0 to

110000

Mnnganesc

SPRING MATERIALS

-123

Hot-wound helical springs, heat treated after formingFor

the larger sizes of helical springs (over about % to %-inch wire

diameter) it is not practical to wind the springs cold. In such

cases, the springs may be wound hot from either carbon or alloy-

steel bars and then heat-treated. For carbon steel bars, the com-

position required by ASTM A68-39 is given in Table XXXVI.

For winding of these springs, ASTM A125-39 calls for heat-

ing to a temperature of 1700 degrees Fahr. and coiling on a pre-

heated mandrel. The springs are then allowed to cool uniformly

Table XLII

Endurance Limits of Elliptic Leaf Springs*

Limiting

Spring Thickness Brinell Stress Range

Material (in.) Hardness (Ib/sqin.)

Cr-Va spring steel Vt 445 3,000 to 32,000t

6% carbon spring steel H 349 2.500 to 46,000

Silico-manganese steel H 342 4,100 to 43,000

Found by Batson and Bradlev, Dept. of Sci. & Ind. Research (British) Special

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Report No. 13.

5 In master leaf.

Stress concentration effects act to reduce strength. These are due to clamps used

and to holes in the springs.

to a black heat, after which they are heat-treated to a tempera-

ture around 1475-1500 degrees Fahr. and quenched in oil. After

quenching, the springs are tempered by heating to 800 degrees

Fahr. in a salt bath. This will give a hardness around 375 to 425

Brinell. Typical physical properties of this material are shown

on Table XXXVII.

Chrome-vanadium steel wireIn the past this alloy-steel

wire has been frequently specified where a high-quality material

is needed and where temperatures are somewhat higher than

normal, such as is the case for automotive valve springs. Because

of present restrictions on alloy steels, however, its use should be

avoided where possible. In this connection it should be noted

that relaxation tests by Zimmerli4 did not show a marked superior-

ity of chrome-vanadium steel compared to carbon steels as far as

resistance to creep and relaxation at elevated temperature was

concerned.

The composition of chrome-vanadium valve spring quality

4 "Effect of Temperature on Coiled Steel Springs Under Various Loadings", Trans-

actions ASME, May 1941, Page 363.

424

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

wire as given by ASTM A232-41 is listed in Table XXXVI. For

ordinary chrome-vanadium steel spring wire (as distinguished

from the "quality" wire), somewhat higher amounts of phos-

phorus (.04%) and sulphur (.05%) are allowed.

This type of wire may be obtained either in the annealed or

in the heat-treated condition. When wound from annealed wire,

the springs must be heat-treated after coiling. After winding

from oil-tempered chrome-vanadium wire, a low temperature

heat treatment at around 500-700 degrees Fahr. should be given,

the higher bluing temperatures being preferred for applications

involving elevated temperatures. Other tensile properties of this

material are listed in Table XXXVII.

Stainless steel (18-8) spring wireStainless steels having a

composition of about 18 per cent chromium and 8 per cent nickel

are widely used for springs subject to corrosion conditions. They

are also of value for elevated-temperature conditions. A typical

specification for this material calls for the following composition:

The tensile strength of this wire is developed by cold draw-

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ing and may vary from 160,000 to 320,000 pounds per square

inch depending on wire size as shown in Table XLIII.

Other important physical properties of this type of steel are

listed in Table XXXVIII.

Springs of 18-8 stainless steel wire are wound cold and may

be given a stress-relieving heat treatment at a temperature of

750 degrees Fahr. for 15 minutes to an hour, the shorter time be-

ing used for the smaller wire sizes.

Phosphor bronzeFinding its greatest use in cases where a

spring with good electrical conductivity is desired, phosphor

bronze is also used for applications where corrosion resistance is

important. However, at present because of high tin content (5 to

8 per cent) its use is severely restricted. A possible substitute

where high conductivity is desired is beryllium copper. Typical

physical properties are given in Table XXXVIII.

Carbon, max

Chromium

Nickel

Nickel plus Chromium, min.

.15%

16.00-20.00$

8.00-12.00%

26%

SPRING MATERIALS

425

Beryllium copperThis is an alloy consisting essentially of

about 2 per cent beryllium and the rest copper together with

small amounts of other alloys5. It has the advantage of having a

high electrical conductivity while not requiring any tin in its

Table XLIII

18-8 Stainless Steel Spring Wire

Ultimate

Wire Size

Tensile Streng

(to.)

(lb/sq in.)

.0104

320,000

.0135

313,000

.0173

306,000

.0258

.0410

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288,000

269,000

.0625

251,000

.0915

234,000

.1480

207,000

.207

185,000

.263

171,000

.307

162,000

manufacture. In general, wire made from this material is

quenched from 1475 degrees Fahr. and then cold drawn to in-

crease the hardness. After coiling, it is heat treated to increase

the physical properties. This heat treatment may also be varied

to change the modulus of elasticity or the amount of drift or creep.

Further data on the properties of this material are given in Table

XXXVIII.

Spring brassThis is an alloy composed of about 70 per cent

copper and 30 per cent zinc which is cold rolled to give it high

strength. Typical properties are listed in Table XXXVIII. Be-

cause of its low strength, stresses must be kept moderate if this

material is used. However, it has the advantage of not requiring

any tin in its manufacture, while at the same time possessing

good electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance.

K-MonelThis is a copper-nickel alloy to which 2 to 4 per

cent of aluminum has been added. A typical composition is:

Copper 29 per cent; nickel 66 per cent; aluminum 2.75 per cent.

Wire of this material is given a solution heat treatment and then

cold drawn. After winding, springs are given a final heat treat-

ment to increase the hardness and strength. By this means, ulti-

* Articles by R. W. Carson, "Springs of Beryllium Copper," Aero Digest, July

1942, and "New Alloys for Springs," Product Engineering, June 1938, give additional

data on this alloy.

426

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

mate strengths around 160,000 to 200,000 pounds per square inch

can be obtained. Further data on physical properties are given

in Table XXXVIII. Springs of this alloy are used for corrosion

conditions and for resistance to elevated temperatures0'.

Z-nickelA corrosion-resistant alloy containing about 98

per cent nickel, this material also has good mechanical proper-

ties. It is used for springs subject to elevated temperatures. Be-

cause it has fair ductility after heat treatment, springs of this

material may often be wound from heat treated wire. Further

data are given in Table XXXVIII.

Other possible substitutions for critical spring materials

One which may be considered for use as a substitute material

where both corrosion conditions and static loading are involved

is copper-clad steel. For spring use, this material consists es-

sentially of a high-strength steel having a thin coating of copper

for protection against corrosion. Tensile properties in the heat

treated condition may be obtained which approach those of hot-

rolled spring steel heat treated. Where fatigue loading is in-

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volved, however, it may not be advisable to use this material

because of danger of fatigue failure of the relatively weak surface

material. This danger is not present for static loading.

Helical springs coiled from glass rods and tempered have

also been used for springs under corrosion conditions7. The

tempering consists in inducing surface compression stresses by

suitable heat treatment, thereby greatly increasing the tensile

strength. Because of the low tensile strength of glass relative

to that of spring steel (even after tempering), much lower work-

ing stresses are used in practical design. Since the energy-storage

capacity of a spring increases as the square of the stress, other

things being equal, this means that the glass spring will usually

have to be much larger than a corresponding one made of spring

steel. This is true even though the modulus of elasticity of glass

is only 1/3 that of steel. However, where space is available for

the spring so that stresses may be kept to low values, this ma-

terial offers some promise for use particularly where corrosion

conditions are severe.

"Article by Betty, et a!.. Transactions ASME, July 1942, Page 465 gives data

on relaxation resistance of this and other nickel alloys at elevated temperatures.

7 Article by Colin Carmiehael, Machine Design, August 1942, Page 85, gives fur-

ther details on the use of ulas, as well as article bv T. J. Thompson, Product Engineer-

ing, May 1940, Page 196.

INDEX

Allowable stress, (see Working stress)

Alloy steels, (see also Chrome-vana-

dium steel, Stainless steel, etc.)

Composition 414

Modulus of rigidity data 80, 85, 165

Physical properties 415, 418, 420

Angular deflection

Spiral springs 334, 336, 341

Torsion springs 324, 326

Annealed high-carbon wire

Composition 414

Description 422

Physical properties 415

Approximate theory, helical springs . . 30

Automotive valve springs (see Valve springs)

Belleville springs

Alternative stress calculation . 260

Constant-load type 254

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Deflection 247, 249, 254, 25b

Fatigue loading 261

Evaluation of stress calculations . 261

Load 247, 249, 254, 256

Load-deflection curves 239, 258

Methods of stacking 240

Residual stress 261

Strain measurements 259

Strew 248, 250, 256, 260

Stress concentration neglected 260

Stress distribution 253

Surface decarburization 262

Tests 258, 259

Theory 240

Beryllium copper 417, 425

Binding, torsion springs 316

Bottoming load, volute springs 361, 375

Brass, spring 417, 425

Brushholder spring 329

Buckling, helical springs

Fixed ends 175

Hinged ends 169

Load factor 175

Theory 169

Buckling, torsion springs 316

Cantilever springs (see also Flat Springs)

Energy stored 400

Large deflections 289, 293

Simple 286

Trapezoidal profile 288

Capacity, energy-storage (see Energy-

storage capacity)

Carbon spring steels

Composition 414

Effect of temperature on modulus 80

Endurance limits 417, 418, 420, 422

Modulus of rigidity data 84

Physical properties 415, 418, 420, 422

Charts

Square and rectangular-bar springs 214, 217

Helical springs

Curvature correction included. . 151, 154

Curvature neglected 109, 111

Working stress factor

122, 123, 126, 127, 129

Helical spring design

Static loading 109, 111

Variable loading 151, 154

Choice of factor of safety 24

Chrome-vanadium steel wire

428

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Comparison of test and theory, helical

springs, fatigue loading 130

Compression block, rubber spring . . . 379

Compression springs, helical (see Heli-

cal springs)

Constant helix angle, volute spring. . . . 360

Constant-load springs

Belleville 254

Disk 254

Design data 256

Constant thickness disk springs (see

Disk springs, constant thickness)

Copper-clad steel 426

Corrosion effects 7, 22, 424

Fatigue tests 22

Corrosion fatigue, spring materials.... 22

Crank arrangement, principal frequen-

cies 224

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Creep

Helical springs 112, 115

Analytical method of calculation . . 115

Cross-spring pivot 311

Curvature correction, helical springs

Correction factor

Round wire 37, 42, 110

Square wire 209

Fatigue loading 120

Tables including 151, 154

Curvature neglected, statically loaded

springs 99

Cycles, stress, variable amplitude.... 12

Cylindrical shear spring, rubber 384

Cylindrical torsion spring, rubber. . . . 387

Damping

Factor, valve springs 235

Forces, valve springs 228

Rubber springs and mountings ... 395

Effect on transmissibility 397

Valve springs 228, 234

Decarburization

Belleville springs 262

Effect on endurance limit 20, 304, 420, 422

Effect on modulus of rigidity 77

Surface 19, 262

Deformation ratio, helical springs. . .151, 154

Deflection

Belleville springs 247, 249, 254, 256

Cantilever springs 287, 291

Cylindrical rubber shear spring . . . 386

Cylindrical rubber torsion springs 388, 390

Disk springs, constant thickness . 279, 285

End loops, tension springs 196

Flat springs 287, 291, 294

Under combined axial and lateral

loading 295

Deflection (continued)

Helical round-wire springs

Charts 109, 111, 151, 154

Combined axial and lateral loading 178

Ordinary formula 29

Large Deflections 56, 62

Small index, large pitch angle, ex-

act theory 48

Small index, small pitch angle ... 47

Tables ...106, 107, 138-149

Helical rectangular-wire springs

Charts 217

Large index 208

INDEX

429

Dimensions

Effect of variations in 23

Helical springs 163

Direct method of determination, modu-

lus of rigidity 82

Disk springs, initially coned (see Belle-

ville springs)

Disk springs, initially flat

Constant-thickness type

Approximate theory 27b

Exact theory 280

Large deflections 283

Load-deflection diagram 284

Loads and deflections at given

stresses 285

Simplified calculation 284

Radially-tapered type

Correction for load displacement . 274

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Deflection 268, 272

Large deflections 268, 273

Stress 266, 271

Tests and comparison with theory 276

Draft gear spring 4, 348

Eccentricity of loading, helical springs

29, 74, 159, 162

Formula for calculating 160

Tests 162

Efficiency, rubber mountings, in reduc-

ing vibration 394

Efficiency of space utilization, helical

springs 183

Elastic pivots 5, 311

Elementary theory, helical springs ... 26

Elliptical law, endurance diagram. ... 16

End loops, tension springs 193

Deflection 196

Shape 198

Stress in 193

Types 198

End turns, compression springs 157

Ends, torsion springs 315

Endurance Diagrams (see also Endur-

ance limits)

Elliptical law 16

Flat springs 303, 304

Helical springs 90, 93

Leaf and plate spring materials. .304, 416

Simplification of 15

Static and variable stress 13, 14

Straight-line law 15

Endurance limits

Bending 420, 422

Elliptic leaf springs 423

Flat spring materials 422

Helical springs 88, 89, 91

Endurance limits (continued)

Leaf spring materials 422

Leaf springs, elliptic 423

Spring materials 413, 417, 420, 423

Torsion 16, 21, 418

Endurance ranges, helical springs. .88, 89, 91

(see also Endurance limits)

Energy, absorption of, as spring function 2

Energy storage capacity

Cantilever spring 400

Comparison for spring types 399, 412

Helical springs 183, 186, 410

Leaf springs 403

430

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Flat springs (continued)

Clamped ends 307

Combined axial and lateral loading . 293

Endurance diagrams 303

Stress concentration effects 299

Clamped ends 307, 309

Due to holes 300

Due to notches 300, 306

Sharp bends 308

Flexural rigidity, helical springs 171

Free-height volume, criterion for energy

storage, helical springs 183

Functions of springs , 2

Gimbal mounting, telescope

Glass springs

426

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Hard-drawn spring wire

Composition 414

Manufacture 421

Properties 415, 421

Helical round-wire springs

Advantages 25

Allowable stress 135

At solid compression 168

Bending stresses, exact theory 43

Buckling 169

Buckling load factor 175

Charts

For static loading 109, 111

For variable loading, curvature in-

cluded 151, 154

Cold-setting 167

Combined axial and lateral loading. . 177

Combined stress

Shear-energy theory 45

Maximum-shear theory 44

Deflection

Charts 109, 111, 151, 154

Elementary theory 29

Exact theory 47

Large pitch angle 48

Large deflections 56, 62

Ordinary formula 29

Small index 48

Small pitch angle . 47

Tables 106, 107, 138-149

Deformation ratio 151, 154

Eccentricity of loading 159

Efficiency of space utilization 183

End turns, effects due to 157, 196

Energy-storage capacity 183, 410

Helical round-wire springs (continued)

Fatigue loading 85, 119

Alternative method of calculation 131

Limitations of method 128

Test results 130

Working stress factor 122

Fatigue tests 85, 131

Flexural rigidity 171

Hot-wound, composition 414

Heat-treatment 423

Lateral loading 177

Load loss, under temperature 113

Manufacturing tolerances 163, 165

Modulus of rigidity 76, 84, 165, 166

Natural frequency

INDEX

431

Helical rectangular-wire springs (continued)

Membrane analogy 203

Stress

Charts 214

Curvature neglected 207

Large index 207

Large pitch angle . 211

Small index 208

Small pitch angle 207

Helical square-wire springs

Charts 214, 217

Deflection

Charts 217

Large index 208

Large pitch angle 212

Small index 210

Small pitch angle 208, 210

Static loading 221

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Strain measurement 220

Stress

Charts 214

Curvature neglected 207

Large index 207

Large pitch angle 212

Small index 211, 212

Small pitch angle 208

Use of round-wire charts 210

Helical spring nests, energy storage 189, 191

Helical torsion springs (see Torsion springs)

Holes, flat springs, stress concentration

due to 300

Hot-wound helical springs

Composition 414

Heat-treatment 423

Manufacture 423

Physical properties 415

Hot-rolled, high-carbon steel

Composition 414

Physical properties 415

Hysteresis loop, ring springs 350

Independent suspension, front wheels 4

Index, spring

Effect on deflection

Round-wire springs 48

Square-wire springs 210

Effect on stress

Round-wire springs 37, 42

Rectangular-wire springs ... 213, 219

Square-wire springs 208

Effects due to yielding, helical springs 96

Infrequent operation, springs 18, -94

Initial tension, tension springs 193, 197

Initially-coned disk springs (see Belle-

ville springs)

Initially-flat disk springs (see Disk

springs, initially flat)

Isolation, shock 397

Isolation, vibration 392

K-monel 417, 425

Large deflections

Cantilever springs 289

Disk springs 268, 273, 283

Helical springs 56, 62

Spiral springs 343

Large pitch angle, helical springs

432

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

Modulus of rigidity

Alloy steels 85, 166, 415

Carbon steels 83, 84, 166, 415

Direct method of determination.... 82

Effect of decarburization 77

Helical springs , 76, 84, 165

Overstraining, effect of 76

Phosphor bronze 85

Rubber springs 383

Stainless steels, data 85, 417

Temperature coefficient of 80

Temperature effects 79

Torsional pendulum method of de-

termination 83

Various materials 85, 166, 415, 417

Mountings, rubber (see rubber springs)

Music wire

Composition 414

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Manufacture 416

Physical properties 415, 419

Physical properties

Spring materials 415, 417, 420

In bending 420

In torsion 418

Pinned outer end, spiral springs 335

Pitch angle, effect on deflection

Rectangular-wire springs 219

Round-wire springs 42, 48, 51, 56

Square-wire springs 212

Pitch angle, effect on stress

Rectangular-bar springs 211

Round-wire springs 42, 48, 54

Square-wire springs 211

Pivots, elastic 5, 311

Plate spring 297

Presetting

Volute springs 359, 372

Helical springs 167

Principal frequencies, crank arrange-

ment 224

Natural frequency, helical springs

Calculation 230

Ends Bxed 231

One end free 232

Weight on spring 232

Nests, helical spring, energy storage

Static loading 191

Variable loading 189

Notch effect, fatigue testing, .7% car-

bon steel 17

Notched bars, fatigue tests

Pulsating load 17

Combined static and variable stress 17

Notches, flat springs, stress concentra-

tion due to 306

Oil-tempered wire

Composition 414

Manufacture 419

Physical properties 415, 421

Open-coiled helical springs 50

Deflection 56, 62

Ends fixed against rotation 62

Ends free to rotate 51

Stress 51, 66

Overstressing, helical springs 166

Overstraining, effect on modulus of

INDEX

433

Rubber springs

Advantages 378

Compression block 379

Deflection 381

Cylindrical shear spring 384* 386

Cylindrical torsion spring

Constant stress 388

Constant thickness 387

Damping 395

Modulus of elasticity 380

Modulus of rigidity 383

Shear spring

Cylindrical 384, 386

Simple 382

Variations between test and calcu-

lated results 379

Working stresses 390

Location with respect to center of

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gravity 398

Safety, factor of 9, 14, 24

Scale springs 2

Sensitivity to stress concentration, fa-

tigue loading of helical springs 120

Shock isolation 397

Shot blasting 22, 91

Effect on decarburized surface 22

Helical springs 91

Fatigue test data 88, 89, 91, 420

Size of shot 92

Measurement of peening intensity... 92

Specimen for determining peening

intensity 92

Temperature effect 94

Shot-peening (see Shot-blasting)

Shear spring, rubber 382

Shear stress multiplication factor 100

Shearing rigidity, helical springs 173

Solid height volume, criterion for en-

ergy storage 183

Snubbing action, rubber mounting. . . . 398

Special ends, tension springs 199

Spiral springs

Clamped outer end

Deflection 334, 341

Stress 334

Energy stored 406

Few turns

Angular deflection 341

Maximum moment 340

Radial coil movements 341

Large deflections, coils in contact . . 343

Many turns

Clamped outer end 330

Pinned outer end 335

Working stresses 343

Spring, glass 426

Spring brass 417, 425

Spring ends

Tension springs 198, 199

Torsion springs 314

Spring materials

Composition 414

Endurance limits 413,417,418,420,423

Physical properties . . .415, 417, 418, 420

Spring index, (see Index, spring)

Spring tables, helical springs

Carbon steel 138

434

MECHANICAL SPRINGS

352

Stress (continued)

Ring springs

Rubber springs

Shear 382

Cylindrical 384, 386

Strip under combined axial and lat-

eral loading 295

Spiral springs, large number of turns

334, 337

Static component of 12

Tension springs, end loops 193

Torsion springs 322, 325

Valve springs, due to surging 234

Variable (see Endurance range, En-

durance limits, Fatigue loading)

Volute spring

Constant helix angle 368

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Variable helix angle 375

Stress, working (see Workoing stress)

Stress concentration

Notched bars 17

Sensitivity of material 18, 121, 124

Stress concentration factors, flat springs

300, 306

Stress concentration

Flat springs

Clamped ends

Due to holes

Due to notches

Helical springs, due to curvature

effects 110, 113,

Sensitivity to 120, 121, 124

Torsion springs 316, 322, 325

Stress measurements (see Strain meas-

urements )

Stress cycles

Constant amplitude 12

Few 18, 94

Variable amplitude 13

Stress-cycle curve 19, 21

Stress range, endurance (see Endurance

range, Endurance limits)

Stress range, valve springs

Surge stress, valve springs, methods ol

reducing 226

Surging, valve springs

Suspension, independent, front wheels

Straight-line law, endurance diagram

Surface decarburization

Belleville springs

Effect on endurance limit 20, 304, 420

Effect on modulus of rigidity 77

Swedish steel wire, properties and en-

durance limits 418, 420

299

307

300

306

120

125

236

237

233

15

262

Tension springs

INDEX

435

Valve lift curve 225

Valve springs

Damping factor 235

Damping forces 228

Design expedients 237

Methods of reducing vibration stress

226, 237

Resonance curve 236

Stress due to surging or vibration 226, 234

Stress range 236

Valve-spring wire

Endurance limits 420

Physical properties 420

Variable component, stress

Definition 12

Helical springs 122, 125

Variable helix angle, volute spring ... 371

Variable loading (see also Fatigue load-

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ing, Endurance limits, Endur-

ance range) 10

Variable stress (see also Fatigue stress,

Endurance limits, Endurance

range) 12

Variations in dimensions

Effect of 23, 163

Helical springs 162

Variations in modulus of rigidity 76

Vibration

Helical springs 222

Steady state 392

Valve springs, methods of reducing

stress 226, 237

Vibration isolation 392

Volute springs

Advantages and disadvantages . . 359

Bottoming load 361, 375

Cone and arch stresses 360

Volute Springs (continued)

Constant helix angle 360

Deflection 366, 373, 374

Stress 368, 375

Tapered bar 360

Variable helix angle 371

Volute spring suspension for tank . . 360

Weight on spring, natural frequency. . . 232

Wire (see Music wire, Stainless steel

wire, etc.)

Working stresses

Belleville springs 259

Helical springs 134

Ordnance applications 135

Ring springs 357

Rubber springs 390

Spiral springs 343

Tension springs 200

Tension-compression springs 202

Torsion springs 327

Working stress factor, helical springs,

charts 122, 123, 126, 127, 129

Yielding, helical springs 100

Young's modulus (see Modulus of elas-

ticity)

Z-nickel 417, 426

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1 64 04 3 ... 10

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U. C. BERKELEY LIBRARIES

C077D73517

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